The Right Church?

(The first part of this page was written by a friend who gave me permission to use it.)

I read an article the other day about the right church. It had graphs, pictures, and free timelines you could download. It did a great job of boiling the search for the right church down; just look for the specific sign in front of that specific building. But that seemed a bit misleading.

If you want to know if a group of people are Christians and a part of the right church, watch how they love the unlovable, the broken, the poor, the oppressed, and the lonely. See how they welcome the messed up and beat down. Watch how they listen to and honor those who have different stories. Observe whether they love their enemies. And then go ask the poor, lonely, oppressed, and downtrodden in their communities how well they’re loved by the right church.

I wish it could be as easy as finding the right sign but it’s not about a sign. It’s about a Savior. Find the people who know what it means to follow Jesus and aren’t afraid to live out his love.”

Powerful words, no? The people who make up a congregation are more important than any program, any songbook, any doctrine, any building, any sermon series, or any class. They are the children of God. We are the children of God. A visitor who walks in today will learn about Cherry Hill not from our classes, songs, or prayers. But from the people inside. The people who form the backbone of Christ’s bride. The people who (hopefully) welcome him or her with open arms and a loving heart.

It bears repeating that when I attended church for the very first time, the people showed genuine care for me I hadn’t experienced in a long time. I don’t remember too much about the service itself (though I do recall a high school student preached that day, which I found interesting), but I do remember walking out to my car after church with a glow. That warm feeling served as the catalyst for a desire to know more and more about a man from Nazareth named Jesus.

Was that congregation a perfect one? No. And that’s the point. To be the “right church,” perfection is not a requirement. A desire to follow Jesus is. A yearning for discipleship is. And the power of love most certainly is.

In Christ Alone,

-Matt


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