I’m struggling with church at the moment. Not the church I belong to as such. Just church. I honestly believe that the church I am part of is a good church, despite any faults it might have, but I often wonder how God views my church. If, for instance, the book of Revelation was being written now and there was a letter in it to my church – what would it say?
My church of 250 members is located in the heart of a small city in a very rural English county, not far from the Welsh border. There are many other churches in and around our city, and a beautiful old cathedral. But if God were to write a top ten list of churches in the county (from His perspective) – would my church be on it? Or would it be on another list?
Then I think of other churches I have visited. The largest I have attended is Hillsong London. Not quite a mega church perhaps, but probably as mega as you will find in the UK. Fantastic worship, but certain aspects left me a little uncomfortable. And how mega should mega be? Does God want a church to grow and grow numerically until it has to arrange several services each Sunday, or is God more interested in the spiritual growth of the individual members of a church, and in what they take into their daily lives after they walk out of church each Sunday?
I have been to very small churches too, particularly when returning to my childhood home of Guernsey when our family have increased the numbers in a small chapel by 50% on Sunday morning. I have been to ‘normal’ churches (normal in my experience) and I have been to ‘different’ churches. I have been to churches I want to visit again, and I have been to churches I couldn’t wait to leave. But where is God in all of this? While it should be possible for me to worship Him in almost any church/church service, my questions this morning are not about me, or about my relationship with God. My questions concern church:
- What does God think when He looks back 2,000 years to the early church, and then casts His eye over the church today?
- If we really knew what God was thinking about our churches, what should we be doing about it?
Would you fancy receiving any of the letters in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 addressed to your church?
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Revelation 2:4 (NIV)