During the week my schedule contains going to church (that is, interacting with people who for the most part share a common belief system with me) quite a bit. My weekly “church” schedule looks something like this:
Sunday – I go to Flowing Grace for an early morning Bible study followed up by a regular service with everyone.
Monday – I go to a home church that primarily focuses on prayer and worship by way of music.
Tuesday – nada zip zilch.
Wednesday – I help out with a high school youth group at Orchard Community Church.
Thursday – I help out with a soup kitchen at Trinity Episcopalian Church. There’s a brief service preluding lunch, spiritual food before physical food as I like to think of it. 🙂
Friday – nada zip zilch (but occasionally I visit the local mosque on invitation of my friends).
Saturday -When I can I like going to Orchard Community Church with friends for the evening service.
Now some friends are concerned that I do too much in regards to my church related activities, and honestly I wish I could do more. More in the sense that I want to engage with my church peeps apart from the given day we gather together, because life and community does truly happen in a church setting, but there’s so much more apart from church.
With my many interactions now I’ve started to piece together a “Frankenstein” church that I would like to help cultivate. I know The Perfect Church doesn’t exist, but drawing from what I see and help out with and engage, if I were to help create and cultivate a church these are some things I would put emphasis on, not a comprehensive list but a good deal of what I like with the churches I’m involved with:
– Smaller and in the community, the megachurch model isn’t for me.
– Inclusive to all.
– Communion/Lord’s Supper also inclusive for all.
– Worship in the form of music isn’t over-the-top.
– Time dedicated to prayer, as well as time dedicated to praying for and over others.
– God the Father recognized and invoked.
– God the Son recognized and invoked.
– God the Holy Spirit recognized and invoked.
– Soup kitchen, immigration assistance, other communal/social issues addressed.
– A space for the local chapter of PFLAG to have their meetings.
– Community local and global assisted.
– Incense, cantoring, Icons or portraits of God and other saints.
– Art from the community decorating the halls.
– Common Book of Prayer; not essential, but certainly helpful.
– Shorter/Homiletic messages.
– Deeper theological messages.
– Opportunities for Q&A based messages where people text in their question[s].
– Discipleship for all people on their spiritual journey.
– Teaching of older church practices; lectio divina, meditation, labyrinth, etc.
– Opportunities to start grassroots ministries.
– Room for doubting and for questioning.
Now I recognize while I may lean in this direction as to how I want to cultivate a church, it comes down to the people within the church to help carry it out. I recognize the silliness of the joke that says “I want to be a pastor because my day of work is only on Sunday.” The pastor is an element to the church (people) but he shouldn’t be the focal point, God should be this focal point, and taking the Gospel message to where the rubber hits the road (The Great Commission) is how we should live it out.
This is a dream, a desire, a part of me I cannot (nor will I) shake loose.