For the past two years, I have felt a steady pulling on my life to be more open to the idea of being a pastor someday. The thought scares me, and honestly, I don’t wanna do it. But I feel like God is leading me in that direction(sorry for the Christianese, but when I use it, I mean it). I have preached at my home church when my pastor was on vacation, and in a few weeks, I am preaching at my grandmothers church, and I was just going to sing there, but the lady asked me if I wanted to preach too. Its been crazy how things just seem to be heading that way.
For the past week, I have been thinking about my ideal church, if I could build any church I wanted, and if I could operate it how I wanted it to be operated…how would I do it. I have a few ideas. Its a long post, so if you really care, read, it was fun to make!
Sanctuary: Octagon shaped building with stone-laid walls and a smooth concrete floor. The pews will be made of wood, with kneeling fold-out attachments, and they will be set in a semi-circle formation with a platform in the front center. Behind the platform will be a plain wooden cross against the wall with white AND purple/crimson linen draped in the center, to represent Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection.
Fellowship Hall: This would also be stone laid, and will shoot out from the octogonal sanctuary at the wall behind the podium. This hall would be large and rectangular, and its purposes would be for games, sunday school lessons, fellowship dinners(held every week), and for the other uses.
The Lords Supper- Our church will partake in the Lord’s supper by going into the fellowship hall and breaking multiple loaves of bread, and giving each person a glass of grape juice. We would celebrate it as a real meal, had together, and with one or more presenting the symbolism in the bread and juice. I would want it done this way because it seems like this is what the Lord’s supper originally was intended to be, and what it started out as. Also, in my experience, I feel more reflective when I have more bread or juice to consume, rather than the one piece of bread that is over in a few seconds.
Baptism – Baptism would be for professing believers, and it would be done as soon as a person expresses interest in becoming baptized, or upon their salvation. The individuals would meet with one of our pastors for 15-30 minutes before, during, or after a service so that they and the pastor can discern if their desire and faith is sincere, and would thereafter be baptized in front of the congregation on that day. Baptism would be done by either sprinkling or immersion, whichever the individual choses, and they would also have the option of wearing white baptismal robes if they so chose.
Pastor: There will be 3-4 pastors(1 being me) of our church, each having the same rank and title, and the same responsibilities. Preaching the sermon would be rotated to each pastor week by week, and congregational visits or special ceremonies would be done on whoever would be available, or whoever is requested. These pastors would not have a salary because they would be working their normal jobs during the week, or will be retired. Each will use the same email account, which will be the main form of contact within and by the church.
Sunday School teachers: All volunteer. No Salaries.
Youth Pastor: There will be 2-3 Youth Pastors who would operate along the same lines as the pastors, and will have regular jobs during the week as well, and will also not have a salary from the church.
Janitorial: All church members(including staff) will sign up for days where they and their families can come into the church and clean.
Why no Salaries?
Although getting a salary for your ministry work is not wrong, and is, in fact, completely biblical, I feel like a church could operate on volunteer work, and therefore, the money normally used to pay salaries can be used for improving the community, aiding missionaries, supporting children in third world countries, aiding local city missions, helping the homeless, caring for the sick, and many other much needed things.
Hymns would be sung a lot, and amplification for instruments would not work well in a stone and concrete building, so any instrumentation will be either unplugged, or very little amplification. We will NOT split into two services for different types of music, it will be blended.
We would adhere to the Nicene Creed, and our theology will be influenced greatly by anabaptist/mennonite foundational beliefs, especially regarding a Christ-o-centric view of scripture and way of living.
The wood pews, and kneeling fold-out attachments are little ways that would cause us to sacrifice our comfort so that we would be reminded of what great a sacrifice Christ gave for us.
The church will Not take any official position on the questions of election, eschatology, who “Israel” is, on dispensational or covenantal theology, or any other complex, gray-area, theological concept. This would be done to avoid unneeded devisions.
Anyway, thats all for now; I may edit and add on to it later. But yeah, let me know what you think.