QUESTION 9) Why are there so many churches? Shouldn’t there just be one church?
So wherever you go, whatever town, there is often so many churches. What’s the deal with that? And why do a lot of them struggle to do things together? Isn’t the church of God supposed to be unified?
There are many ways to deal with that question. Firstly, from a practical point of view. There can’t be just “one church” – how would the people all fit in one building? Practically, all people in one town, cannot fit in one building! Impossible!
There are many churches because there are many people who are believers and who may be searching for answers.
(Which leads to another question: are churches offering the right and correct answer?)
I like using this analogy. In any town, there are many schools. The kids wear different uniforms. The teachers have different styles of teaching. The schools varies in their sports ability and in their academics. But what is the point of each school? Their purpose is to OFFER EDUCATION.
Same with the church. The preachers have different styles. The church folk and their ministry beyond the church walls are different. But what is the point of those churches? Their purpose is to OFFER JESUS – and HIS grace and way of life.
Jesus is central. He needs to be central to all those various churches.
Not popularity. Not power. Not profit.
The two commands of Jesus in Matthew 22 is essential:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
“Love your neighbour as yourself.”
Is the church that you are part of or the one you are visiting about that?
So we can have many churches. That’s not the problem. There are many big towns and cities that need a lot of the grace of Jesus in every corner. As it is written “the harvest is plenty, the workers are few.”
Let’s celebrate that churches are being started. Reaching out to people. Showing the love of God to the broken world.
To answer the other question you asked: “why do they battle to do things together?”
Sadly, the answer to that is because of selfish and insecure reasons. Pastor’s personalities get in the way. Also they get worried about this (excuse the Christianise term) “sheep stealing.” (A person leaving a church to go to another.)
Seriously, people (pastors and leadership) get too concerned that they’re serving a “church” … when in fact they should be “serving God and His kingdom.”
One’s church branding doesn’t need to be everywhere when serving…
“People will know you are my disciples by your love” is what Jesus said.
But on the flip side: I think when churches start pushing so much for unity – that is also missing the point and wasting our focus as people of God.
When we spend too much time looking across at each other and how we should unify, we miss the opportunity of looking out to those who need the love and grace of Jesus.
Where you are. Where your church is. Shine your light there. Make a difference for God in that time and space.
Don’t be anti-unity, but don’t spend some much energy doing events of unity either…
Well, that’s my opinion…