I found the following ‘Vision for the Church’ years ago. (I have forgotten where I got it from, so apologies to whoever originally wrote it). I’ve slightly adapted the original.
I want to belong to a church . . .
• which judges itself by the difference it makes in the world, not by how many members it has.
• where God has no grandchildren, where everyone is wrestling with the call to be committed to Jesus and a life of radical discipleship.
• where people take Jesus-style life very seriously. Where people go expecting the Gospel to challenge and change them and are not just spectators at Sunday services.
• where people are more afraid of God than they are of one another.
• where people have fun, where laughter and applause are heard and life is celebrated. It would be a place where the chosen no longer look frozen.
• where people can be open, honest and vulnerable. Masks could be left at the door and people would be free to be themselves. It would be a place where you didn’t have to fake it.
• that is good news to hurting people, where confessing your sins, forgiving one another and praying for one another are not something odd or out of place.
• where people decide to err on the side of grace, where acceptance, encouragement and affirmation are vital characteristics. It would be a place where people were extremely reluctant to cast the first stone.
• that despite any fears or failures has the confidence to really believe in God. A church that is creative, compassionate, courageous, alive to the power of love and, like Jesus, willing to take risks.
What kind of church do you want to build?
1 Corinthians 3:10-15