On this LIVE edition Tony Marino and Pastors +Brian Whiteside, +Michael Duncan, and +Jeff Klick discuss “Discipleship: WANTED: The Perfect Church.” We team God’s Word with our latest book, “The Discipling Church.” Guest Panelists: +J.R. Miller (Dr. Joe Miller), +Jason Velotta, +lyn smith, +Michelle Hollomon, and +Shawn Savage (Shawn & Caroline Savage).

Post-Show Notes

No Perfect “Pastor

First, too many pastors put on a facade that they are perfect because they fear people will not come if they show their failures.  

  • That approach is unhealthy because nobody should be coming to participate in church because of a pastor, so pastors need to stop thinking they are the “center” of church”
  • Pastors must model humility, and that means openness about their failures and their own need for the cross of Jesus Christ. 

The Perfect NT Church Is a Lie

I did not get a chance to address this in our discussion, but I heard a quote a while back that said the New Testament Church has become Porn for the Organic Church. The phrase is a bit crass, but I fear accurate.  So many folks have created this fictional image of church through which they then judge everyone else who does not meet their perfect standard of community.  So lets get this straight, there is no perfect church and no one has the “perfect” worship practices. Why then is there no end of writers telling others that if you worship in a big building with too many people then they are somehow not the “ideal” of God’s gathered community?

One Size Church Does NOT Fit All!

The beauty of our freedom in Christ is that we can have a diversity of worship spaces, practices, music, preaching styles… etc. There is no “perfect” church except the church who worships in the truth and love of Jesus Christ. And the perfection comes not through our style of worship, but through His presence in, and among, his people!

Why Church?

Towards the end of our discussion, we discussed a survey with these top questions people ask about what they look for in a church.

  1. Will I be accepted?
  2. Will I find friends?
  3. How will I make a difference?
  4. How will I benefit?
  5. What is expected from me?

Our panelists had some disagreement about the nature of these questions.  What do you think?  I would love to read your thoughts.

Dr. Joe Miller (aka JR) is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. In addition, he is a church planter and coach for other young leaders. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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