My instinct, upon listing all three, however, is to say being a Jesus-focused church is key.
I mostly stick by that idea because as experience has shown me, nothing … and I mean nothing, is as important as knowing, seeking and representing Jesus.
The problem, however, is many churches that would categorize themselves as “Jesus churches” are often really good at knowing about Him but not necessarily knowing Him. These churches can give you all the correct Jesus-Sunday-school-answers, but representing Him in powerful, tangible and practical ways is another story.
Next we have churches that focus primarily on the Bible. Now, please don’t misunderstand me here, either. I have grown very much thanks to some healthy Bible churches I know. God’s Word is transformative. Yet, what many Bible churches lack is a practice and understanding of the Spirit.
Which leads us to the Holy Spirit-heavy church, of which I have been a part of many. These churches tend to lean more toward experiencing the manifestations and presence of the Holy Spirit, so much so they are often weak on God’s Word and/or the importance of an intimate relationship with Jesus.
So which type of church is best?
Again, I don’t know, but my heart longs for a church that is a perfect blend of all three. When I think of the Acts church, I imagine them all-consumed with knowing Jesus and nothing else. I imagine them in pursuit of Christ, but neither lacking in the things of the Spirit or for a love of God’s Word.
As my husband pointed out to me, as I wrote this post, the things of the Spirit and a love for God’s Word all flow out of a devoted and Christ-centered heart. The New Testament church experienced the radical power of God in all forms, but I believe it was, in large part, because of the fact that knowing and loving Jesus was their primary focus.
The Bible doesn’t call us the Body of the Holy Spirit or the Body of the Word. We are called the Body of Christ, and if we know the Bible is God’s very words and the Holy Spirit is the indwelling of Christ in us, then it seems Jesus should and must come first.
A church relying mostly on the Bible or mostly the Spirit, or teaching only tenets of Christ but not living them out, is broken, lop-sided and lacking.
The more I have begun to grasp the necessity to cling to the Person of Jesus and seek Him and His headship over everything else, the more I have felt a part of the church … the more I have felt whole as a member within His body.
The church where Christ is head is best. Everything else is just secondary.
What type of church do you think is best? What type of church do you have experience with? Am I being idealistic to hope for a church that displays all three?