Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What kind of church would my church be if everyone were like me?

Over the years I have heard all sorts of little sayings which seek to capture some aspect of religious thought. The one which keeps coming back to me is one I heard long ago. "What kind of church would my church be, if everyone were just like me?" It's an intriguing thought. It's also very humbling if we really think it through.
Ask your self a few questions like these. How many Sunday worship services would have to be canceled if everyone attended church as regularly as I do? How many Bible classes would the church have if everyone attended them just like me? Would the members of the church have a good understanding of the Bible or would they have trouble finding the book of Psalms?
Would there be an ample supply of Sunday School teachers if everyone were just like me? Would there be plenty of people to serve on committees, to make calls on prospects or shut-ins? Would the church lawn be cut regularly, the church cleaned weekly, and the nursery be amply staffed? Would the church budget be met and the bills paid? Would there be strong support for missions if everyone supported the church just like me?
By now you can see how intriguing this question is. If we were able to clone ourselves over and over again, what impact would it have on a congregation if each member was exactly like us? Would our hypothetical church be a friendly church which welcomed others into its midst or would we keep to ourselves? Would we embrace all who came through the door with the same love and enthusiasm? Would we treat the affluent in the same way as those who were poor? Would we welcome only those whose children were well behaved, who were nicely dressed and caused no disturbance? Would we show love and forgiveness to all when they did something to offend us? Would we be there to support the pastor in his ministry or only be there to criticize?
"What kind of church would my church be, if everyone were just like me?" I try to ask myself  this question regularly. It helps me keep things in perspective. If everyone were just like me, there would be some areas where we would shine. But I also know there would be many areas where the church would be wanting.  
Thank God that each member of the church is not exactly the same. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Thank God that there are people who make up for those areas in which we fall short. Let us each ask God to forgive us for our sins and short-comings and ask for help to do better in the future. Let us strive to be more and more like Jesus for what a church it would be if every member where just like him.