Churches in the World

Church in the World; Worship; Heart of the matter; God looks at our hearts

Christians worshiped in a variety of structures throughout our history. Cathedrals to catacombs, in luxury or poverty, the idea of church differs widely in our world. My mission work has allowed me to visit many kinds of houses of worship. I stood for a four-hour service in an ornate orthodox sanctuary in St. Petersburg, Russia because they had no seats. I sat in unfinished buildings in Western Kenya to worship God through a roofless structure. I visited a parish that minister to the homeless populations of Bolivia. And I marveled at the splendor and majesty of St.Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Italy. Each opportunity was unique and awe-inspiring to me. But, God does not care about the building.

Psalm 105:1 “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.”

I witnessed some people arrive at the Lord’s house in their best attire while some appear in the same outfit every Sunday because it is the only one they own. Congregations also come to services in a multitude of transportation options. Members might drive while others might walk long distances in the heat and humidity. One chapel I visited in SE Asia had people arriving on the top of vans, were they rode for hours to get to the nearest place of worship. But, God does not care about attire, vehicles or wealth in His church.

Acts 2:21 “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

God does not care about attire, vehicles or wealth in His church. Click To Tweet

How we worship within those buildings also varies across the globe. Some have music, and some don’t. Sometimes organs, choirs, or praise bands can provide traditional or contemporary music options. Some raise hands while others are not comfortable with it. Some offer communion weekly while others serve it quarterly or annually. Baptisms can also vary. While some churches sprinkling water on the person, others provide full immersion. But, God does not care about the mechanics of the service.

Romans 15:7 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

Belonging to Christ is about the status of our hearts. Click To Tweet

So what does God care about when it comes to His churches? He cares about the people because the people are the church. Not the buildings, not the attire, not the wealth or poverty, none of these matter to our Lord. God looks at the hearts of men, not at their surroundings, to determine if we belong to Him. And, Roman 10:9 explains this further “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Belonging to Christ is about the status of our hearts and, our worship of God flows from hearts filled by love for God. Christian churches differ widely across the globe, and God loves them in all their forms.

Blessings,

Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

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21 thoughts on “Churches in the World

  1. I love this, Yvonne. I think too many people in the church create divisions based on their preferences of worship rather than pursuing peace and unity around the Son of God. What stood out to me in your post was this truth, “God looks at the hearts of men, not at their surroundings, to determine if we belong to Him.” Our heart makes a big statement about what we believe; our preferences change like the wind.Great post!

  2. stephaniemgammon

    Oh, I love this. It’s so easy to be caught up cultural ways of worship but God looks at the heart, not the vehicle of praise. I love how you describe the diverse settings you’ve experienced. It was a beautiful post about Jesus’ beautiful body. Thank you.

  3. LOVE this: “So what does God care about when it comes to His churches? He cares about the people because the people are the church. Not the buildings, not the attire, not the wealth or poverty, none of these matter to our Lord. God looks at the hearts of men, not at their surroundings, to determine if we belong to Him.”

  4. This reminded me of Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Such a great reminder that while man looks on the outside, God looks on the inside! Thank you for the sweet reminder!

  5. “Belonging to Christ is about the status of our hearts.” Love. This. Your missions sound amazing. I have visited a few different types of churches and places of worship, both overseas and in the U.S. And it is all our our heart, not anything we look on from the outside.

  6. “Belonging to Christ is about the status of our hearts.” Love. This. Your missions sound amazing. I have visited a few various kinds of churches overseas and in the U.S. It is all about the heart, not what we see from the outside.

  7. I love this post, Yvonne! The condition of our hearts, the fact of our relationship with him, the desire to seek to know and to love, serve, and worship the Savior – these are important. Your great wealth of experience in the various means in which people worship God all over the world (and what glorious experiences you have had!) gives you a God’s eye view of the church as it exists in all its multicultural glory! Thank you for fixing our minds on what is truly important.

  8. Hi Yvonne!

    When I saw the church in your picture, it reminded me of the church back in the Philippines where I grew up. I love to visit church buildings when I travel, and I’m not sure I agree with you that God doesn’t care about the building.

    In fact, I think he cares, and I also think that we, the Christian, must put more thought into the physical part of life, but that’s a little off-topic, so I’ll go back to your post 🙂

    One of the takeaways for me here was that despite the differences we’re all worshipping. How it’s done, is secondary.

    Thanks, Yvonne for being a consistent servant of God.

    Edna Davidsen

    1. Yvonne

      Thanks Edna. The photo was from a church in Myanmar where I hosted a women’s conference last year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

  9. I love this quote: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” ― Augustine of Hippo

    That is what we need in the Body of Christ. Thanks for the reminder!

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