Often times, we wish that we could find the perfect church. The church that meets every one of our needs. A church where people are friendly and kind. A church where there is no gossip or bickering. A church where the pastor speaks nothing less than the truth. A church where the pastor is not manipulating his flock to believe what he wants them to believe just to get them to stay in his/her congregation. A church where the music is great and the praise and worship team is always on point. They never mess up, they never miss a beat and most importantly they never miss a note. They always sing our favorite songs and the one person we always like to lead, always takes the lead vocals.
Wouldn’t it be nice to find a church where the people were all authentic? Dressed up beautifully on the outside, but so much more beautiful on the inside. How great it would be to be in a church where the people were always the same and never changed. They never lie, they never cheat and they never put themselves above others. They consider themselves as equals amongst their brothers and sisters in Christ. Wouldn’t it be even greater to find a church where the people loved you just for you? A church that doesn’t criticize people just because they look different than the norm of the congregation. A church who welcomes you regardless. A church that is centered more on Jesus rather than on if women are in dresses past their knees and not in pants. A church that is centered on winning souls more than they are centered on ostracizing women who wear make-up and gold jewelry. A church who allows everyone to use their gifts rather than using a select few every Sunday and burning the same people out over and over again. A church that doesn’t make up rules that alienate people if they don’t fit the bill and follow the crowd.
Well, all these characteristics would be great and all, but sad to say, we’ll never find the perfect church. Because the truth of the matter is, the church is made up of so many IMPERFECT people.
I Corinthians 12:12 “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”
I Corinthians 12:14 “Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”
Did you ever think about it like that? As Christians, we make up the body of Christ. We are the church. The church is not merely a building, but a body made up of many parts. And as long as those parts are made up of people, or human beings might I add, there will ALWAYS be imperfection. There will always be moments when not only the people in the flock fall short, but the pastor as well. There will always be people who are out for themselves and personal glory rather than trying to bring the glory to God. There will always be selfish people and those who put themselves above others.
It’s important to know that you just may never find that perfect church. As genuine as you may think people are, your idea of them may be far from the truth due to the fact that the heart of man is wicked. The Bible tells us this in Jeremiah 17:9.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
So, I hate to break it to you, but even after knowing all of this, we are still to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ as we are not to forsake the assembly of the saints. This means that we should be a part of a body. However, not just any body, but a body of Christ that is growing and centered in on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some bodies are sick and removing yourself from cancerous congregations is both needful and beneficial. Don’t feel bad if you join a body and then have to remove yourself from it if it is sick. Every congregation you may seek to join is not well and all congregations and flocks of sheep are not fit for you to be a part of as not all flocks are focused on Christ. If you find yourself a part of a congregation that is distracted and focused on the wrong things such as money or building lavish buildings, simply remove yourself and allow God to lead you where He would have you to be. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s better for you to remove yourself than to stay and get poisoned with wrong thinking and wrong motives.
Although it is good to find a place where you can be rooted firmly and grow, it is not good for you to be in the midst of an unhealthy congregation with bad ground. Find good ground to sow in and allow the Lord to lead you. Don’t just turn a blind eye to the drama. Don’t turn a blind eye to the cliques and alienation. Don’t turn a blind eye to the manipulation of a pastor. Don’t turn a blind eye to pastors that are constantly taking up multiple offerings. Don’t turn a blind eye to the bickering and fighting among the saints. There’s something wrong with this. And rightfully so, you don’t have to subject yourself to it. If there’s a wrong focus and no peace, then it’s probably not good ground. Don’t feel forced into sowing your time and money into bad ground. Find the good ground, sow fearlessly, grow and flourish. And if you ever get disappointed by one of your sisters or brothers in Christ, always remember that there’s NO perfect church. The church is simply made up of IMPERFECT people who fall short while trying to make it to heaven just like you.