I’ve been a Christian for 32 years. I’ve worked for or been a part of many churches. A good chunk of my degree work focused on analyzing how churches operate. I think I have some qualifications to express my opinion here.
If anyone were to ask me what the one essential ingredient was for a successful church, I’d say this:
The people in the church are genuinely friendly and loving
toward strangers and each other.
Now before I get thumped by some watchblogger out there, I am, of course, assuming that the church assents to one of the Christian Church’s major creeds, such as the Nicene or Apostle’s. Otherwise, the use of the word church would be gratuitous.
As I see it, a church filled with loving and friendly people can overcome just about any obstacle. I’ve seen it too many times to think otherwise. And churches that lack this trait can have everything else in the world and fail miserably.
Can Jesus make any pagan misanthrope into a loving believer? Sure He can. My only question: Why then are so many supposed Christian churches filled with people who could care less about the person standing next to them?