We just returned from a Conference for church planters. One of the things that I enjoy most is simply seeing all of the different types of people that God uses to start and lead successful churches. It always clarifies for me that the wrong question to ask is whether or not “our” way of doing church is the “right” way. There are so many different methods and strategies of “doing” church. Some leaders are super organized, some fly by the seat of their pants. Some are topical preachers and some preach from straight passages of scripture. Some have loud worship, some have soft hymns…and yet the common denomintor in all of these styles is that people who are far from God come to these churches and are transformed by Jesus.
We’ve had various conversations with people over the years about particular methods we use. They have gotten caught up in the “right” way to do church and focused on things like why we don’t do “altar calls” for people to accept Jesus. The problem is that when we focus on the “how” too much, we forget the “why”. It causes us not to pay attention to testimony after testimony of changed lives and the vast number of baptisms that we celebrate regularily. We simply see the methodology of our preference as THE way to do something. The irony of it all is that the Bible doesn’t even give us very many specifics for church, such as a model for an “altar call” at the end of a sermon…none of that is in the Bible at all. It’s not right or wrong…it’s just one of the options out there.
All of these amazing leaders that we watch and listen to are so diverse and so unique in their DNA. That translates into vastly different churches that all have the same result…thousands of people loving Jesus. The reality is that God loves diversity and that is seen in all of these successful churches. Aside from a method that is directly sinful and against the heartbeat of God, we need to embrace other churches and be thankful that they are touching people’s lives that we never could!