Steve and I were talking about Toys-R-Us – the massive store stocking dolls, train sets, lego… Pets-R-Us – that sells pets and all related to pets’ wellbeing…. We mused on the notion of ‘Churches-R-Us’…
Choose Your Church
Churches-R-Us is a vast warehouse containing all the churches you could possibly imagine.
Some people have never been; it’s not for them. Others have been before; knowing what it’s like they won’t go again.
Others enter excitedly, knowing the exact church specification they are looking for: suitable for their family, ‘sound’ doctrine, good music, community involvement…
Considering what they can afford – in money, time and commitment – they make the purchase, knowing they can return the church if it isn’t suitable, or buy another one at a later date.
Chosen For You
Alternatively, perhaps God is like some omniscient Father Christmas giving churches to individuals:
- ‘He’s good at community service – I’ll give him the Salvation Army.’
- ‘She likes the dramatic – she needs this Catholic Church.’
- ‘They like village life – theirs is a local parish church.’
- ‘They’re a bit lively – they can have a charismatic church.’
- ‘She likes committees – she’ll have that Baptist Church.’
- ‘He needs to learn silence – he needs this Quaker Meeting.’
And so each who asks, gets the church they want, need or deserve – as the divine Churches-R-Us proprietor decides.
In our coronavirus-world many are asking ‘When will churches open again?’ – talking about church services, programmes and activities.
I have spent my life attending churches that teach ‘The church is the people not the building’. If church is not the building it is equally not its services, programmes or activities.
If churches really are the people, if Churches-R-Us, then the church has never shut. It is always open for business as, inspired by Jesus and empowered by his Spirit, individual members of ‘Churches-R-Us’ seek to be his followers each day.