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What does a "perfect" church look like to you?

Active
Ok, so in my usual way, I mull over a topic for a few days off and on, and then, after a strong cup of coffee, I act on a whim and quick post a thread without enough preparedness.

Anyway, the topic of "church" is and has always been fascinating to me. I am specifically talking about the (visible) relationship that happens when believers gather together in a New Testament fashion. I have read Pagan Christianity by Viola/Barna (probably 10 years ago) and I have been intrigued by Francis Chan's house church model (tho I haven't studied that in depth). Plus a lot more reading/debating/thinking and some experiencing.

1. What do you have to say on the subject of a working New Testament Church?

2. What do you think this should look like?

3. Are you experiencing it?

4. If not, what is your vision for how this could happen?

I may have more later.

EDIT: I have "perfect" in quotes for a reason! :wink:
 
Loyal
what I love about my church is its our reach. We give 20% of everything taken in to outreach for the gospel and helping the poor, here and globally. They vet the ministries we partner with and visit them and send missionaries to serve them.

they dont just teach the bible they live the bible, making deciplies of us to go out into the world and proclaim the gospel, NOT to spoon feed us the word of God and hope not offend anyone. lots and lots of opportunities to serve at this church

I have only been at this church three years and am very grateful to have a biblical church so close to home.

no such thing as the perfect church so many use that as an excuse not to attend church I think
 
Active
Thanks @Dave M ! I am happy for you!

I took a few minutes to quick jot down some attributes of a biblical church. Not exhaustive by any means - am interested in your thoughts on other scriptural attributes we should look for in a church.

Accountability
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16

Biblical and Personal Encouragement
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Unity and Harmony
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:5-7

Brother-to-brother warnings or proving of sin
If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. Matthew 18:15

Leaders who hold firm to the Word in their teaching
He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. Titus 1:9

And of course love! Although this verse isn't really in the context of church as we are discussing, yet it should be noted among Jesus' followers.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
 
Active
Thanks - I guess what I have in mind for this thread is - I like to hear in a practical way what you all are experiencing in your church relationship (thanks for sharing your experience @Dave M ) and examining this all in the light of the New Testament. What are we doing? What aren't we doing? How can we do it better?

I am looking for practical examples..... it is sometimes easy to discuss religion and doctrine and how it "should" be; to have a great scriptural case detailing what the Bible says. But how is it being lived?
 
Loyal
you know I am recently out of the catholic church three years now, I can tell to you the difference is night and day going to a bible teaching church. Mainly the catholic church spoon fed us, and my new church ask us what we can do to serve.

Our Church sort of moto is "Let Jesus come and wreck your life" meaning when are born again are life is not going to look like it used to, we are to serve wear ever its is your neighborhood, or over in a third world country. Its the churches job to make soldiers for Christ army to serve and make disciples , learn our gifts and use them for the church.
 
Loyal
Ok, so in my usual way, I mull over a topic for a few days off and on, and then, after a strong cup of coffee, I act on a whim and quick post a thread without enough preparedness.

Anyway, the topic of "church" is and has always been fascinating to me. I am specifically talking about the (visible) relationship that happens when believers gather together in a New Testament fashion. I have read Pagan Christianity by Viola/Barna (probably 10 years ago) and I have been intrigued by Francis Chan's house church model (tho I haven't studied that in depth). Plus a lot more reading/debating/thinking and some experiencing.

1. What do you have to say on the subject of a working New Testament Church?

2. What do you think this should look like?

3. Are you experiencing it?

4. If not, what is your vision for how this could happen?

I may have more later.

EDIT: I have "perfect" in quotes for a reason! :wink:
What does the perfect church look like to me? I don't know. Every time I walk into one, its no longer perfect.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
What does the perfect church look like to me? I don't know. Every time I walk into one, its no longer perfect.
Sure you do brother!

Wherever there are two or more gathered in His name, He is there.
He is the Head of the Church
We are the Body of Christ
We are His Temple

We are that Perfect Church in Christ Jesus.

Love you brother!

Nick
<><
 
Loyal
Sure you do brother!

Wherever there are two or more gathered in His name, He is there.
He is the Head of the Church
We are the Body of Christ
We are His Temple

We are that Perfect Church in Christ Jesus.

Love you brother!

Nick
<><
I stand corrected. Thank you. LOL You caught that phoney humility!
 
Active
I would say the definition of 'perfect' is a church operating as best it can according to the operatives laid down in the New Testament , And I define 'church' in this case to mean the local assembly of believers.

Every believer is of course part of the universal Church, the Body of Christ. But in this instance I believe the local church is the one in question.

To begin, the church should have a statement of faith of that which it believes concerning God, Jesus Christ, and the Church. This is made available to all upon entering the church. That which is included in the statement of faith are the 'dogma'. These are the things we believe and will not allow other beliefs. Thus one can know at the outset if he or she fits in this church.

There needs to be a leadership body over the church. This should be men whose conduct and spirituality are so characterized and laid down in the New Testament. This body I would address as 'elders'. Among these elders there would be pastor/teachers, and others of various gifts. Maybe more than one pastor/teacher. Maybe several. There would not be a one man pastorship over the church. It would be the ruling elders. These men who have evidenced the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their ministering, would be mature in the faith.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit would be taught and allowed to function among the members of the church. All done in descent and orderly fashion and at the proper time. Any divergence from this order would be immediately called down by the elders, who due to their maturity in the faith, not only recognize a wrong teaching or action, but are willing to act upon it.

The singing part of the worship service is for all the believers in the church. It is not to watch a band entertain you. It is not to watch some prima donna entertain you. It is geared for the Body of Christ to sing as one in the worship of Jesus Christ. For which the 'hymns' are perfect for.

Quantrill
 
Loyal
The "perfect" church is seen perfectly by those with "eyes to see" perfectly. Is there a perfection which reaches beyond our vision? A person walking into a church which appears perfect to someone else may see nothing at all good. Does he suffer from blindness? True believers in God all have a vision for without a vision we will, according to what Solomon wrote [Prov 29:18], most certainly perish. Does not the apostle Paul clarify indicating that a better vision is yet to come?

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." I Cor 13:12

We can describe groups of people, or congregations, or "churches" as perfect or not, but what they are does differ from one person to the other according to where each one is between that "glass, darkly" vision and that "face to face" vision. Perhaps what all of us need in order to improve our vision is another touch from Jesus:

"And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly." Mark 8:23-25
 
Loyal
Looking for perfection is a bit of a rabbit hole.

What we should be looking for in a church is a good and healthy expression of the body of Christ. Every good church is a community of believers in which each member is strengthened by the whole body in their walk with Jesus. And the church should also be a witness in the world to the risen and glorified Jesus Christ.

In the New Testament the most common metaphors for church are "family" and "body". None of us belong to perfect families, and I guess none us has perfect bodies. But we still know what a good and healthy family looks like.

I think that boils down to common commitment to following Jesus, accountability to each other, mutual love, prayer and worship.

As for styles of worship and teaching, leadership structures and so on, that's very much secondary. People have different personal and cultural preferences, and that's fine. Some of us find exuberant worship liberating, and some us find it excruciating. No matter.

I've been involved with all kinds of churches (but committed to one for the last 20 years), and it doesn't take too long to see behind the external trappings and discern if Christ is at the centre.
 
Loyal
Oh, and the OP asked if we are experiencing 'perfection'. Emphatically yes. My brothers and sisters strengthen my walk with Jesus. No doubt I give them plenty of opportunity to practise patience and grace and forgiveness. They are a blessing to me. I hope I am to them.
 
Active
Some main points of the article:

1. A few families meeting in a home is not necessarily the Biblical pattern.

2. Church meetings are primarily for believers, fellowship, teaching etc, not so much focused on "how can we get more unbelievers in our services." (Of course, a seeking soul should be welcome!)

3. Each church (or congregation) independently operates and is a complete unit, not part of a larger organization or structure.

I do have a question on the last point though... it appears in the NT that while the churches were independent and there was no "denomination", yet they were interconnected (traveling ministers etc, oversight from Paul and other leaders). The church at Corinth was corrected from "outside" the local congregation.

SIDE NOTE: I didn't mean for the word "perfect" to throw anybody off. Shouldn't have used that word as it probably got a bit too much attention lol. What I am rather trying to explore is, what is the Biblical pattern?
 
Active
Did you read the article?
No, I didn't. I could tell where it was going without reading it. Because you just asked, I did glance at it, and it was just as I expected.

But whether believers meet in a traditional church building or in a home, it is still a local church.

Quantrill
 
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