I have been reflecting on the different kinds of churches you may find in the world. I do not mean different denominations. There are different views of what the church should be. Let me picture them this way:
Religious Exercise Club – this is the church where people come to do their religious things. It is very formal and impersonal. Religious duty is practiced to keep “God off your back” for another week. Bibles are in the pews but they are seldom, if ever, opened.
Social Club – this is a club that meets in a church or has church in its name. There is little mention of God and no significant attention is given to the Bible. What draws people is the commitment to some cause or the fun of being together.
Political Action Group – all talk here is about politics. Concern is for social and political action. God is called upon to “sponsor” the group. The Word of God is used to show that God wants to bless our nation. But, He will do so only if we vote the correct way. Prayer is a plea for God to smite the wicked (those who do not agree with us).
Concert Hall – People are drawn to these churches “for the music”. The music is often loud and unintelligible but everyone is having a good time. There is a feeling of elation that people equate with worship. The favorite Bible verse is, “Sing a new song to the Lord”.
The Woodshed – In this church people attend to find out all the bad things they are doing. The speaker points out areas where they are falling short and what they need to do so God will no longer be mad at them. The Bible is used as a club to beat people.
The Theater – at these churches each week is an “event”. People are drawn because of the unexpected. They come hoping for a good show. The Bible is referenced in the dramas. The emphasis is on the good stories.
The Hospital – This is a gathering of wounded people who seek the Great Physician. Some seek healing from their sin, others are in “spiritual therapy” eager to lean how to live a spiritually healthy life following their healing. The Bible is read not as a rule book but as a manual on life. People are welcomed regardless of their disease.
I suspect I have tipped my hand as to which is the kind of church God wants us to be (the Hospital). I hope this is the kind of church we are. Can you think of other “kinds” of churches?
Lessons in the Wilderness: Life Lessons from Exodus-Deuteronomy is now available! This is a great aid to your Bible reading at the start of the year. This book looks at some of the key events in Exodus through Deuteronomy and is a sequel to Bruce’s book: FAITH LESSONS: Lessons in Faith from Genesis. Both book are available on Amazon, Wilderness is available in both paperback and Kindle
Meeting with God, A Year of Daily Readings and Reflections – YEAR 2 has just been released (November 10, 2016). This book follows the format of Year 1 of a Bible passage with comments and insight for your daily life. The book is available in paperback and kindle formats. You can purchase the book on Amazon.com or at the church.
Rebuilding Life After Grief and Loss is Bruce’s newest book (May 8, 2016). The book looks at the nature of grief and how to work through this time to get back to living life even as we learn to celebrate the life that is temporarily gone. It’s a brief book but filled with practical ideas. The book is $7.00 on Amazon ($4.00 on the Kindle) and you can pick it up for a discounted price at the church (when Bruce has copies)
Meeting With God, A Year of Daily Readings and Reflections . Is now out. You can purchase a copy either in paperback or in Kindle format on the Amazon.com website. Or you can stop by the church and pick up a copy for the discounted price of $15.00. This would make a great gift for someone you want to encourage in the faith.
A Christian Handbook for Surviving Divorce (When You Would Rather Still Be Married) came out on August 4th. This brief book looks at some practical strategies for surviving the devastation of divorce. It is available in both Print and Kindle formats. Purchase it Here
Each Sunday Night in addition to Awana we have two great, Christ-centered groups that meet.
- Jr High (grades 5-8) meets at the church at 5:30. This group is taking a break for Summer.
- High School Youth (grades 9-12) meets at Rick’s home (802 W. Main) on Sunday nights at 5:30. There is also a meal, fun and games and then the meat of the session is the time of discussion. Rick leads this group and his passion is to help teens learn to think clearly from a Biblical standpoint. No question is off limits and no topic is too “Hot”. It is always a spirited discussion.
Joyce Crim is leading a group discussion group on Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. meeting at the church. The group will resume for a summer study in July.
Awana meets Sunday nights from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Awana will meet through November 27th and then take a break until January 8th for the holidays.
The College and Career Bible Study meets at Rick’s home Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m. This is a discussion-oriented group for people in the 18-30(ish) year old age range.