Sanctuary or Cemetery: 5 Characteristics of an Exciting ChurchApril 17, 2014
Contrary to popular belief, you can be saved and enjoy it. As a matter of fact, the only real way to enjoy this earthly life is by possessing eternal life. If Christians are to be the happiest people on earth, shouldn’t the place they congregate be equally joyful? Church should be a place of excitement…oftentimes it is anything but that.
They do sound similar…sanctuary, cemetery.
A sanctuary is a place of the living; a cemetery is a place of the dead. A sanctuary functions in light, a cemetery functions in darkness. A sanctuary is a place where we eagerly desire to be, a cemetery is a place where we earnestly try to flee. Too often, however, our sanctuaries feel more like cemeteries. Instead of shouting on resurrection ground, too many churches sit quietly and barely make a sound.
Churches that are exciting have a few characteristics in common:
1. An Exciting Church Attracts Guests with its Warmth and Friendliness
If I go anywhere, whether it is a relative’s house or the grocery store, and I encounter rudeness, indifference, and coldness, odds are, I will not return. Exciting churches have greeters, handshakes, fellowship, kindness, and hospitality as staples.
2. An Exciting Church Engages in Genuine Worship
It’s one thing to have friendly greeters at the door; it’s another thing to have God in the building. An exciting church knows why it gathers: to worship, exalt, and make much of Jesus Christ. I have been to churches where worship was secondary to everything else, where Jesus was not applauded or even mentioned. An exciting church worships in reverence, zeal, and freshness.
3. An Exciting Church Is Growing in Today’s Faith
An exciting church has a vision. They honor the past, but they do not live there. They do not simply make monuments of days gone by; they build upon those days by exercising their faith. They have goals to achieve, projects to fulfill, places to go, people to reach, and promises to claim.
4. An Exciting Church Reaches Another Generation with Truth
Truth is timeless. It is not confined to a decade or cultural preference. An exciting church reaches, teaches, and trains each generation for the glory of God. When a church fails to reach the young people, it will cease to exist when the current members pass. It leaves no legacy, it plants no seed, and it shines very little light.
5. An Exciting Church Declares Hope to the World
The gospel is the most exciting story ever told. If a church fails to emphasize the Good News, it is doing business on the wrong street, and will inevitable shut its doors. An exciting church exudes the gospel in every ministry, function, class, and outreach effort. I want to be in a place that gives hope to the entire world, not just those confined within the religious walls of a cemetery, umm, I mean sanctuary. People who are excited about the gospel don’t just go to church, they are the church!