My family has been on a journey to find a church for a while, and we've been toying around with the idea of starting a church in our home. I would much rather find a body that we could worship with and support, but some aspects that I think should be in a church seem to be very hard to find in practice. Not that the individual elements are hard to find, but the combination of all of them seems to be impossible. With that, these are the top ten things that I'd like to see in a church that I attend or pastor:
This seems to be the hardest thing to find. Oh, churches always pay lip service to God's grace, but mostly they extend it to outsiders. Once you're inside for any length of time, it's all about performance--whether that performance is dressed up as "imitating Jesus" or "avoiding worldliness" or "evangelizing the lost" or "supporting the ministry" or "helping with the project." There seems to be very little opportunity simply to rest in the finished work of Jesus, and very little acknowledgement of the faithfulness required in simply doing your job honorably and treating your family in a godly manner. The truth is that Jesus did all the work, and the only righteousness I can have is by trusting in him.