A couple of years ago I received in the mail a church bulletin that had a front page article entitled, “How Do I Choose a Church?” The title caught my eye so I spent a few minutes reading the piece.
The points were straightforward: find a church that is founded on Jesus, find a church that has only Christ as its Head, find a church that offers the biblical method for membership, find a church that chooses to wear a biblical name, find a church that has the proper mission, find a church that teaches sound doctrine, and find a church that worships God in spirit and truth.
As I reflected on this article, I wondered what Jesus would have to say about how to choose a church. Then I remembered what Jesus said about how people would be able to identify real Christians. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
I returned to the article, reading it closely. When I finished reading for the second time, I had a lump in my throat and tears welling up in my eyes. The article teaching how to choose a church included seven points; but the word, “love” was nowhere to be found.
I love You.
Help me love people, too.
Fill my heart with Your love.
Fill it to overflowing.
Forgive me when I settle for less than love
in my life, and in Your church.
In Jesus’ name,