My Ideal “Church?”

So I’m sitting here in the middle of our church’s annual Session Retreat. For those of you who aren’t true blue Presbyterians, the session is the elected governing body of the church (kind of like a board of directors). As a staff member, I’m here to participate, but mostly observe and give input when requested. Right now, the session members are “visioning” and re-examining our church’s core values. This got me to thinking…

I’m going to seminary. Someday I hope to be an ordained Presbyterian minister. I don’t really want a traditional “church” (with walls and membership and doctrine and such). What I really want is to be part of a spiritual community. So, if this ideal community in my head had core values (which it might or might not) what would they be? Here’s a stab at my first two:

  1. It’s Not About You. The church (or community) doesn’t exist to “meet my needs,” but rather has been blessed by God in order to be a blessing to others, especially those on the margins of society. In doing this, everyone will grow and benefit from God’s love, both inside and outside of the community.
  2. Relationships Are More Important Than Rules. This applies to doctrine, policy, and even theology. Jesus spent a little time talking about the law. He spent even less time enforcing it. He spent a lot of time building relationships with his disciples and living what he taught, and that’s why they were passionate about him.

That’s what I’ve got so far. You’re welcome to add your own…

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