No, not moron church lists, thought that could make an interesting post as well.
In response to a post about 10 ways to hinder your church, a commenter made some good points about other things that should be on the list:
The list is excessively focused on doctrine and public meetings. This is only a very small part of the church; it is also ‘leader’ centric; another very small part; because, you see, without love, its just empty. How to kill a church is to not love: to have selective friendships, to play favourites, to not support the weaker or needy brother or sister, to not commit to and engage in prayer together and for those in need; to not share your lives openly, unremittingly, sacrificially and joyfully, without pretence and preening.
. . .
It seems to me that in some churches, if its not nice and neat, suitable for polite conversation, it’s avoided.
I thought the original list didn’t mention enough about doctrine. Whole denominations are getting killed by poisonous liberal theology that denies so many essentials, such as Jesus’ deity and exclusivity, the physical resurrection, the authority of the Bible. If you can’t get the essentials right then you have no business calling yourself a church at all. It is false advertising of the worst kind.
That aside, the commenter was dead on about how churches can miss the point and get caught up in superficial concerns.
Even though our denomination (United Methodist) has some serious problems due to false teachers that worked their way into leadership positions, our local church is quite good. I could give countless examples, but here are a couple.
The love and care that get poured out isn’t just for long time or even active people or even members. One visitor lost his wife while she was delivering their second child. He was showered with countless hours of help, child care, meals, etc. for many months. It was touching when he joined, especially as he felt very welcome as a minority in a largely white church.
An Indian couple, now good friends of ours, had been ignored at a different church but were immediately embraced at ours. They have a thriving home Bible study and have led many former Hindus to Christ. They are very grateful for how welcomed they felt at our church.
Side note: Being in a small group — Sunday School classes and accountability groups in particular — is crucial to really feeling engaged at church. It is too easy to get lost, especially in large churches.
What would you add to the list that churches need to focus on so their work for the kingdom isn’t hindered?