Amanda and I started praying that the LORD would slow things down for us because of the recent changes in our lives. I started a full time position at QUT, our oldest started prep and we became a family of five. I had also been asking God what His plans were for Acts Like Church (our home church) so it wasn’t entirely a surprise when we got His OK to bring things to a close.
Amanda and I ran the home church (though there were occasions where we met elsewhere) faithfully for nearly three years and while the journey wasn’t without challenges, God blessed us for being obedient to His calling. I praise God for his faithfulness in helping me prepare the weekly messages. We went through Matthew and Acts during this time. Amanda, despite being a very busy mother of two (now three), always did her best to prepare something for our kids so that they weren’t starving spiritually, even though it meant that she couldn’t hear what I shared on Sundays and put her spiritual needs aside (though God was gracious to minister to her through the Holy Spirit) for the sake of our kids and the home church.
Now that the LORD has given us His peace to move on from our home church ministry, as the spiritual head of my household, I need to make sure that we find a church for our whole family. God reminds us in the Bible that it’s not very good to not be in fellowship with other Christians.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
In this day and age where many churches have fallen far from what the LORD would want His Church to be, finding “the ideal church” is a far more difficult task than one can imagine.
The Ideal Church
What does the ideal church look like? Every Christian has an opinion about this but what God thinks is all that matters.
I am going to share my opinions about the ideal church and will examine God’s Word to verify if my opinions are based on God’s truth or my own imagination.
The ideal church must teach from the whole Bible and primarily rely of God’s Word for preaching, teaching and instructions on Christian living.
Does the Bible back this claim? Yes it does!
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
God instructed Joshua to meditate on His Word and promised Joshua God would prosper him and make him successful (like Moses), if he did.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
God’s Word will illuminate our lives.
For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
God’s Word, all of it, is important for Christians. We can’t pick and choose only the bits we like.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
God’s Word alone is sufficient to meet all our spiritual needs and to equip us for the good works God wants us to do. It goes without saying that God’s Word is merely a book unless God the Holy Spirit brings it to life.
There are many more verses that cement the supremacy and sufficiency of the Bible, but the few I have selected makes it abundantly clear.
God the Father, God the Son Jesus and God the Holy Spirit are equally important and the ideal church will not give supremacy to One over the others.
Does the Bible say so? Yes it does!
But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
Even though the word “trinity” is never mentioned in the Bible, it is what we use to describe the fact that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is One God but three Persons.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Before Jesus ascends to heaven, He gives us the Great Commission, clearly indicating that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are equally important, because Jesus commands Christians to baptise in the Name of all three Persons of the Godhead.
The Church Leadership
The pastor of the ideal church is a man called by God and will not go against God’s Word by appointing women as pastors.
Does the Bible teach this truth? Yes it does and no I am not being a sexist, nor do I think women are inferior in any way!
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
1 Timothy 2:11-14
Paul makes it clear in his letter to Timothy that women should not be teaching the whole church. Why? Because Eve, not Adam, was deceived by the devil. Eve ignored God’s instructions to not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17) and chose to eat the fruit because it looked good and it would make her wise (Genesis 3:1-7). Whether women like it or not, it is clear that God doesn’t approve of nor appoint women to teach the church, though it is clear that women are not only permitted to but encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5).
Too many churches today ignore God’s instruction in the Bible and have become progressive, appointing women as pastors and allowing them to teach their congregation.
Notice I mentioned “men called by God” at the start? This is because there are many churches in the world where pastoral positions are filled by men who are neither appointed nor anointed by God to be the shepherds, let alone meet the Biblical qualifications for leadership (Titus 1:6-9, 1 Timothy 3:2-12). Just because a man has completed a seminary/Bible college degree, does not mean that God has called him to be a pastor. Sadly, too many churches go by man’s standards while ignoring God’s Word.
In this post, I have touched on what I believe are the most important aspects to look at when searching for the ideal church. There are many other factors that need to be considered as well, like:
- Is the Holy Spirit in charge? Is His gifts being taught and/or abused?
- Are pastors preaching/teaching the Word or doing stand up routines to make the congregation laugh?
- Are worship teams glorifying themselves instead of God?
- Are children’s ministries teaching kids God’s Word or are they glorified day care centers?
- Are churches building their kingdoms instead of God’s Kingdom?
I could go on and on but you get the picture.
Amanda and I now have the arduous yet extremely important task of visiting local churches to try and find the ideal church, not based on our opinions but Biblical standards laid out by God.
All we can do is pray to the LORD and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us. I am certain that in His time, God will help us find a church where each one of us can grow and mature in our walk with Jesus and serve Him.
If you do know of such a church in Brisbane, please let me know.