I’ve probably said it a million times in telling my story of how I ended up in North Carolina planting a church, but the short answer to the question of what makes a good church is – it varies. Not exactly a line-in-the-sand kind of statement huh? Maybe you expected something more spiritual or religious like – “Jesus makes a good church” – or – “strong discipleship makes a good church”. I’m not saying those things don’t matter, I just don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all answer. Probably the only thing that can really make a good church is freedom for the Holy Spirit to work.
So when it comes to answering this, I tend to define it more in terms of what it is not. So the question is more like “what makes a bad church?” That’s easier. A bad church is only focused inside on the people who are part of it, not the ones who aren’t (in fact, they may be seen as a threat). A bad church has no vision for the difference it might make in the community where it exists. A bad church is always afraid to step on toes or offend anyone (especially other believers). A bad church makes decisions in secret and doesn’t invite input, feedback or questions. A bad church has no plan for the future. A bad church has only good people as a part of it (yep, you read that right). A bad church votes more than it prays.
I could go on, but I won’t. The only reason I’m even thinking about this is because today I’ve been encouraged. Encouraged by people who don’t just love Discovery (a church) but love the Lord Jesus, are doing what they can to try and become more like him and want to make a difference (be the church). I got a few emails today from people sharing what God’s been doing in their life since they started coming to Discovery. I love these people. I love this church.
So what do you think makes a good church? Or maybe it’s easier to say what you think makes a bad one? Either way, leave a comment.