“So, what kind of church are you exactly?”
That was the start of a conversation in which I tried to answer questions about what kind of church my husband and I pastor. And, quite frankly, those conversations make me weary. I want to just say, “We. Are. CHRISTIAN.”
But, I don’t. So the conversation goes on trying to figure out exactly what category we fit in.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand why people want to know. It makes sense. Knowing what denomination a church is will help you to understand if it might be a good fit for you or not. It makes it easier for you to find your own “tribe”, if you will. A baptist church is most likely going to have a different feeling and structure than a pentecostal church. Having a heads up for what kind of experience you may have at a specific church isn’t a bad thing.
But here’s the thing—I’m not following a denomination. I am following Jesus. Can’t it just be that simple?
I believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. He died on the cross and rose again, defeating death, paying the penalty for sin, and offering eternal, abundant life. I don’t believe you can get to heaven (or have access to the Father) except through Christ. Because I believe this, I am a Christian. A follower of Jesus.
Does it really have to be more complicated than that?
Why can’t we just focus more on the fact that we—Christians of all denominations—are all followers of Jesus? Why can’t we just have “Christian” churches. Try out different ones. Find out where your heart comes alive, where you connect and feel at “home”. Don’t judge it based on its denomination.
And, don’t limit me to having to take from only one well. I have had the privilege to experience churches of many different forms. And, you know what? Almost all have had things that have touched me, encouraged me, and given me a more full picture of Jesus and what it means to be His follower. My Baptist upbringing instilled a love of God’s Word that is still with me today. My time at Brownsville Assembly of God gave me a love for passionate worship. A Catholic boss of mine inspired me by the connection she had with her Catholic heritage.
I could go on and on, but you get the point.
I think that its time for us to celebrate our connection as those that follow Jesus. It’s time for us to support one another more than we judge one another.
What kind of church do we have? A Christian church. No more, no less.