My Perfect Church

This entry is heavily inspired by an article in Relevant Magazine. I don’t know much about the magazine, but the article’s worth reading if only for the acknowledgment of similar frustrations.

Of course, I’m not in the same age bracket as the author, but there are some things on his top ten list that I’d love to see. But instead, I’m going to work on a list of 10 things I like about my church.

1. When we decided to start a food program, there was no vote, no forms to fill out, just people who showed up and worked.

2. Members of our church started a thrift store. The money they make goes to help people who can’t pay their utility bills, or don’t have enough food. When they decided they needed a bigger building to do this work, the church voted unanimously in favor of spending the money. They’ve been doing this for more than 10 years.

3. A man who once spent many of his nights living under a nearby bridge now has a home in his name, and a life that he enjoys. This is entirely due to the grace of God and the people whom he worked through in our church.

4. There are many Sundays each year when three generations of several different families are present for worship.

5. Many of our members have had their weddings in our sanctuary, and some have had their funerals there as well. Funerals in a church sanctuary somehow seem so much more reassuring, perhaps because we don’t gather there ONLY in times of death.

Ok, so that’s 5. This might be a good blog tag sort of thing. Pass it on.

New Churches

The church I attend is 100+ years old. I have been associated with it (sometimes living other places, but returning to visit while away) for 27 years. Yikes. Now I feel old.

I understand that new church plants grow, and that United Methodists see this in the Southern Baptist church and hope to emulate it. I know that the UMC has things to offer that simply aren’t offered in any other church. I understand that my congregation is fairly static in membership numbers because we don’t conscientiously reach out to people who have no church background. But I don’t know that I think that a constant building effort by the church is the way to fix that. Those churches will become old some day too.

This article is what brings me to think about this topic currently: Amid Growth…


I’m a teacher. I don’t get paid for that skill, but I use it in Karate and at church. I’m decent at it, and more importantly, I’m willing to do it.

But I need something. I can’t keep teaching like this. Karate isn’t too bad right now, since it’s bodily involved, but the classes at church are not inspiring me, so I know I’m not inspiring my classes. I’ve read about the different learning styles, and I understand how different people learn from different styles, but nothing has jumped out at me in recent weeks.

Maybe it’s because I’m in about the third month of the book of Acts and I need a jolt. Maybe it’s the fact that my class seems perfectly happy to just sit back and listen to the few who have questions. Or, that they practically refuse to argue with me. Are they afraid that if they hurt my feelings I’ll quit teaching?

Preparation helps, and I can tell when I’m better prepared. I should work on that, since it’s one of the things that I can actually do. I can’t make the students care more. I can demonstrate how much I care. Keep trying.