Sometimes churches get known for the wrong things. Often it’s a particular emphasis that some or many in the church have. So people in your community may describe your church as “the church that doesn’t vaccinate,” or “the right wing church,” “the homeschooling church,” “the pro-life church,” or “the organic, gluten-free, lactose free, all natural grass-fed free-range church.”
I’m not saying that any of these things are inherently good or bad. It’s just that we don’t want our church to be known primarily for these kinds of things. We don’t even want our churches to be known primarily for things like incredible worship or great preaching.
I heard a story of a group of people who visited London in the time of Charles Spurgeon. First they went to hear a famous preacher in another church. After they heard him, they said, “What a preacher!” Then they went to Spurgeon’s church and heard him preach. After listening to Spurgeon they exclaimed, “What a Savior!”
That’s what I would want our church to be known for—our glorious Savior. May it be said that we preach Jesus, love Jesus, worship Jesus and live for Jesus. Secondarily, flowing out of our relationship with Jesus, I would like our church to be known as a warm, welcoming, caring and loving church. I would hope that when people think of our church, they think of Jesus.
I definitely want to pursue excellence in our preaching of God’s word for the sake of strengthening God’s people and proclaiming the Gospel. And I want our worship to be as excellent as possible to encourage us to glorify Jesus with our singing. But I don’t want these things to be the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they talk about our church. I hope the first thing that comes to people’s minds is what came to mind in those who heard Charles Spurgeon: “What a Savior!”
That’s what I want our church to be known for.