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July 29, 2011

Finding the Perfect Church

by Dave Malnes

I remember a pastor telling me that ministry would be great if it weren’t for all the people.  He was joking (I think) but there are certainly times when people can make life difficult for each other.

Especially the church.

Hurtful words are shared.  Leaders make decisions that are disagreeable.  The new pastor doesn’t measure up to the old one.  The people seem unfriendly when you come and visit.  Or, perhaps you read in the news another story about the sins of a pastor or a church.  Or, a man or a woman who profess to be Christians, provide a poor example at work, at school, or in your neighborhood.  The list goes on.

People tend to get in the way of the message with their words and actions, instead of proclaiming it.

“In his letter to imperfect churches, Paul knew it would be infinitely frustrating to promise believers they could somehow find or produce the perfect church body.  “Go find a place where your needs will be met” was not a part of his advice.”    (Kent Wilson)

Churches are imperfect because imperfect people belong to it and are guided by imperfect pastors and leaders.  And it’s been the case ever since the church started two thousand years ago.  One of the most challenging aspects of being a Christian, is for a new one to mature and grow in the faith.  Outside of God’s Word, the only source for a faith to grow, the world provides many ways to uproot a young tree of faith and cause it to blow over.  More often than not, the imperfect church struggles to provide a nursery for growth in the current society that is creating gale force winds.

People sometimes look for the perfect church, instead of seeking a perfect Lord.  In the first, you will always be disappointed, and in the second, you will find peace, love and security.  Perhaps church members can focus more on seeking a perfect Lord and less on creating a perfect church.  Then, the realness of Christ can be discovered and found for not only themselves, but also for those who are seeking.

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