Summary: There are many types of churches today. Some are doing great things for God. Others...well, they just need to be reminded of their purpose. This message is a challenge to churches of all denominations to refocus upon what God has called them to do.
What Kind of Church Do You Want?
I. A Museum? A lot of old relics lying around—You can look, but don’t touch. Many of these relics have never been moved in 30 years. They last evangelist that tried to move them was overcome so badly with the dust that he had to evacuate the building. There are rarely any visitors, so the relics that are there have generally sat in the same place for at least 25 years because they have never had to slide over to make room for visitors. The theme song of this church is “We ain’t never done it that way before!”
II. A mausoleum? A lot of dusty, dead dried-up bones. Pretty on the outside, but dead and miserable on the inside. Much like Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones, this type of church has been dead so long, that some passersby hardly recognize it as a church. Most folks in the community do not even know that it even exists. This type of church has no midweek prayer meeting, no outreach program, no Sunday School, no children, and no teen-agers, no new converts, plenty of backsliders, no glory of God, no vision for the lost. These people have run off every visitor that came into the church because their hair was too short, their smile was too big, their pants were too baggy, their kids were too noisy, their skin was the wrong color, they smelled like alcohol, tobacco or body odor, they were too poor, they sang off key, their kids scribbled on the pew, or whatever flimsy, worthless, unloving, uncaring excuse these backslidden, dead, dried-up church members could think of.
III. A Coliseum. Few participants and a lot of spectators. The pastor leads the singing, teaches Sunday School, drives the bus, fixes the roof, mows the lawn, and paints the church. He is also the Sunday School Superintendent, and the choir director (with about five people in the choir). When he schedules a church workday, his wife and children are the only ones to show up. The pastor’s wife plays the piano, teaches the other Sunday School class, works in the nursery, is in charge of the church fellowship
IV. dinners, the outreach program, the youth society, and the missionary society.
Thus ends the list of participators. The spectators, on the other hand, just love to come to church and warm the pew. When asked to teach a class they are too busy, too underqualified, too tired, uninterested in children, or just have the attitude, “That’s why we’re paying the preacher.”
This type of church will probably be looking for a new pastor within a year. They will never grow as a church. They have never grasped the concept of teamwork.
V. A Circus. A lot of entertainment, but more of a social club than a church. This type of church offers a lot to the community. They have a contemporary worship band to wake them up in the morning. They have a lot of ice cream socials and church dinners. They hire a “Christian Comedian” to come in once a month and make everybody laugh until they hurt themselves. They have church yard sales out front to raise money for the young people to go bowling. On Superbowl Sunday, the young people have a pizza party and watch the Superbowl in the church gym. They have a church softball league, a basketball league, and a volleyball league. The church library is full of books on dieting, exercise, weight loss, sports, psychology, self-improvement and how to have a better self-image. They don’t need an altar, they wouldn’t know what to do with one if they had it. They don’t win any souls, pray with any sick, care for any elderly, or even visit with their neighbors. There is no prevailing, intercessory prayer, no moving of God upon the services, no revival, no spiritual growth among believers, no concern for souls that are lost and on the way to an eternal flaming hell without God.
VI. A library—“Everyone must be quiet in the library” No red-hot testimonies, no unified praying, no altar calls, lifeless song service, no fire in the pulpit or energy in the pew. Everyone is just so quiet. No one exerts any energy to get anything done.
VII. A Zoo. A lot of commotion and chaos. In a zoo, the stronger animals intimidate the weaker, smaller ones. Sometimes they even eat and devour one another. There is a lot of noise. People shout and praise the Lord when the conference president or an evangelist comes to visit. They like everyone to know how spiritual they are. The same people then get their nourishment from biting and devouring one another. They all go home for dinner. Their appetizer is the Adult Sunday School teacher, the main course is the pastor, and then for desert they serve the pastor’s family. The salad consists of all the other members of the church that are trying to do anything worthwhile for God. This type of church is full of misunderstandings, grudges, hurt feelings, and those who sow discord among the brethren.