Have you ever had a time when you get frustrated with your church? I think almost everyone has. Then, perhaps like me you do the: "If I was in charge, this is what I would do." In my mind, I create the "perfect" church. Of course, "My" perfect church will never exist. Why? Because my Bible based church is a mish-mash of doctrines and beliefs. One is associated with one "denomination," and another associated with another "denomination." One is accepted by one "denomination," and condemned by another as un-Biblical (i.e. different views on baptism).
In other words, I am definitely "NOT" Reformed, nor Pentecostal, nor Baptist, nor Catholic, nor do I really fit with "any" denomination, but I believe each has some things right from a Biblical viewpoint (yes, even Catholics - I respect their strong, unrelenting stance against abortion).
So, what does "My" perfect church look like? I have made a list of things (not complete) that would help make a church "perfect" for me. Of course, I know that what makes a church "perfect" for me, is not what would make a church "perfect" for you. But, perhaps, we share some of the things below in common.
***NOTE: It is a given that this church must hold to the "essential doctrines" of the Christian faith: i.e. the infallibility of God's Word, the deity of Jesus, and His sinless atonement for sins, the triune God, the Resurrection. I discuss these "essential doctrines" in more detail here.
Here we go!
I want my church to believe that all of the spiritual gifts are for today, but not to misuse them (i.e. like tongues and prophecy often are).
My church will "not" teach that babies are "born sinners," nor will it baptize babies, or believe that baptism saves.
I want my church to be a place filled with people of "all" races, who worship and grow in God's Word together in unity.
I want my church to be a place that, if we suddenly shut down, the community would suffer.
Since I enter into worship more with contemporary music than hymns, that is type of music my church will play.
While I believe the Bible is clear that women have important roles to fill in the church, they should not have a position of leadership over a man. (My church cannot have women "pastors.")
The preaching in my church will be expository! Chapter by chapter, verse by verse. (Topical preaching is ok from time to time.)
I am not concerned with what people wear in my church (as long as it isn't immodest).
Of course, my pastor will preach on "love," but will also preach an equal amount on "Hell and sin."
My church will powerfully share the Gospel EVERY week, and people will be given an invitation given to come to the altar, confess their sins, repent, and pray to receive Christ. People who have a gift of evangelism will be at the altar to guide them through this process.
When I enter the doors of my church, I don't just want to be "greeted," but I want someone to actually engage with me in a conversation, and get to know me a little better.
When I leave my church, I want to feel convicted to change the world for Christ.
I want to sense that the worship team is actually worshipping, and not just playing music.
Having a vibrant "small group" ministry, to connect with others in my church is "very" important to me. I also want these groups to spend at least part of their time together in God's Word.
I want my church to place an emphasis on supporting missions work, and sending out missionaries.
I want to be able to use my spiritual gifts to serve within my church, and for all fellow Christians to be able to do the same.
If I have a need for prayer, I want to know that there is a group of "prayer warriors" within my church that will commit to pray for my need.
When my church partakes of the Lord's Supper / Communion, I want my pastor to make it "clear" why it is for believers, and not for "unbelievers."
I want my church to be a place where you walk in, and you can "feel" the power of the Holy Spirit!
My church will have a heart and burden to train and equip the next generation to serve the Lord.
I know that I will never find "My" perfect church, but I think that I would be happy to find a church with even 3/4 of these traits. I am always looking ☺! If you have one, I would love to hear about it. Also, feel free to share anything you would add to this list.
***P.S. If I haven't made it clear, "My perfect" church will be made up of "imperfect" people. However, I believe that if my church has of many of the things in the outline above, it will be fully prepared and equipped to evangelize, Biblically disciple, train, support, pray for, bless, and minister to the "imperfect" people within it (including me), and empower "them" to minister to those outside the church.
Related: How do I find a good church?