While visiting family in Kentucky last week, I passed a storefront church with a catchy name . . . My Church. Of course, my warped sense of humor made me think, “What a cool play on words for church outreach?” And then, I heard the following conversation in my head:
Church Member: “How about visiting My Church this Sunday?”
Neighbor: “What’s the name of your church?”
Church Member: “My Church.”
Neighbor: “Yes, your church. What’s it name?”
Church Member: ‘My Church.”
And this could go on and on like an old Abbott & Costello routine entitled Who’s On First?
Seriously, the name caused me to do some thinking about church. Jesus said, “Upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). What’s the difference between Jesus’ “My Church “and . . . my church.
Jesus’ My Church
- Christ is the issue, the motive, the celebrity, the subject, the preeminent One, and the name that matters (Colossians 1:15-19; 1 Corinthians 1:29-31).
- Christ is the architect, the builder, the model, and the planner (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:11-16).
- Christ builds His Church with broken, sinful lives (Acts 16:12-34) who are eternally changed for God’s glory (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10).
- Christ offers forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14), reconciliation (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18), redemption (1 Corinthians 1:29-31; Ephesians 1:3, 7), adoption (Romans 8:15, 23), righteousness (Romans 3:21-26), and acceptance to all sinners on His merit alone (Ephesians 1:6).
- Christ fits every one into His body (1 Corinthians 12:18; Ephesians 2:21; 4:16).
- Christ is Who and What unifies His Church (1 Corinthians 3:11; 12:12-18; Ephesians 1:3-14).
- Christ’s Word is the Operations Manual for the Church (Acts 2:42; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:2).
- Christ’s church answers and handles all personal matters by obedience to the Word (Matthew 18:15-20).
- Christ is the “face” of His Church (Ephesians 5:22-27).
- My church promotes man, his struggles, his failures, his sins, his illnesses, and his pride.
- My church is built around what I believe the church should be and look like.
- My church says, “Come as you are,” but let’s you stay as you are.
- My church offers a temporal fix, a warm, fuzzy small group, and/or man-centered solutions.
- My church fits me and what I like; what makes me feel good.
- My church is unified around my music style, my dress code, my service times, my schedule, my selfish theology, my textual choice, and my perspective/assumptions.
- My church is entertainment driven, perhaps constitution over the Bible motivated, board-run, and man-feared.
- My church reacts to personal matters by anger, bitterness, gossip, and church-hopping.
- My church’s “face” is the pastor, deacons, the person (pastor, deacon, church member) who hurt me or disappointed me, and the denomination.
So, now I must look at the church I serve and ask, “Is this Christ’s church or my church?” Look at the church you attend. Is it really Christ’s church or your church?
Let me add, I know very little about My Church in Kentucky, and this article is not about them. It could be if any of these nine things fits them, but I am not out to target them. I will say this, on their website I read these words, “Make My Church your church.” I think I understand their motive, but only you can make My Church into my church (your church). Only Christ can make His Church, His Church. I’ll choose the latter. . . and by His grace, make that the goal.