Monday, February 28, 2005

Look Dad, The Perfect Church. Pull the car over!!

I need to get a pipe!

Alright, I take off a day or so from blogging, and cyber-space zaps past me. My friend Tod Bolsinger has a wonderful series of posts on Perfect Church here and here. In particular, take a few moments and read the comments. Wonderful stuff. Really great - a collection of people who really care and are passionate about the church. A conversation about what the church could actually be, as opposed to whining (which I do lots) about what it is not. Could this be another Bolsinger book in the making? I sure hope so!

Here are my thoughts on the Perfect Church. First off, please, please, watch this movie as a partial but important illustration to my response. Brother Sun, Sister Moon, released in 1972, is the story of the life of St. Francis of Assisi. This movie, more than any other for me illustrates many of my ideals of the church, more so in the character of Francis and his friends, but also with small peeks at what a church should be. The movie is over the top in some ways, but wonderfully simple in its presentation of changed lives for Christ. Also, Donovan fans will love it.

Second, here are my "Top Ten" of Perfect Church Requirements:

10. Never having to hear, "We've never done it that way before!"
9. Missions, missions; urban, suburban, national and international.
8. A sense of constant call to those who do not know Christ, and a will for all to be completely welcoming
7. Willingness to experiment, and fail if necessary, with new ways to reach out - to welcome the questioning and lost
6. Sermons that connect the ancient mystery of the Gospel to the challenges of living in the modern world
5. A congregation that is intentional about welcoming anyone, regards of race, clothing, income, etc.
4. Joy, laughter, and endless enthusiasm for building community. Ability to be flexible and "messy" Christian folk
3. Flexibility in worship, and a congregation that works toward excellence and creativity in worship.
2. The Gospel proclaimed faithfully by a staff that reflects the mercy and love of Jesus.
1. Lives transformed, consistently, remarkably by the grace of Christ.
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