Churches in the World

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.”

21 thoughts on “Churches in the World

  1. Marcie Cramsey – Culpeper, Virginia – Marcie Cramsey who has been a Children's Minister/Leader for over 30 years lives in Fredericksburg, Va. Her number one passion is loving Jesus Christ. Second to that is her family. She will say that filling the roles of wife and mother is the highest honor that God has allowed her to fill. She spends her days serving others, reading, writing, and hiking and biking (when weather permits). She has been married for 30+ years to her best friend, Dan. They both have four wonderful grown children. Marcie recently published a book for parents, titled "Deep and Wide: Raising Children Deep in Jesus and Wide in Influence." This book teaches parents how to raise their children through relationship. It's been called "the most unique parenting book written." You can purchase this book at Amazon and Westbow Press.com.
    Marcie Cramsey

    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!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      So many man made divisions must grieve God’s heart too. Thanks for commenting

  2. 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.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thank you for commenting

  3. Nancy E. Head – United States – Writer and teacher Nancy E. Head was a single mother with five children under the age of 14 when she attended Penn State to earn a bachelor’s degree in English and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Her career took a journalistic turn from radio news to newspaper reporting, then education before she returned to the classroom to secure a master’s degree in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Currently an instructor at Penn State Altoona and Great Commission Schools, she also spent two summers teaching English in Asia and is a Distinguished Toastmaster. When not teaching or writing, she restores antique quilts, crafts projects for her grandchildren, and helps her husband lead a small group at their church devoted to ministering to the needy in their community.
    nancyehead

    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.”

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      I appreciate your thoughts

  4. mimionlife – Writer of inspirational messages, sometimes laced with humor.
    mimionlife

    God doesn’t need a fancy building. He needs our hearts to be guided to Him and for us to show His love to others. Great message.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks and God bless

  5. 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!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      That is a good verse for this topic. Thanks for sharing

  6. “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.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      I think visiting other places helps me to see that more clearly. Thanks for the comment

  7. “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.

  8. Melinda Viergever Inman – earth – Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda now spins tales from her writer's cave in the South. Her fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives. Find her at http://melindainman.com.
    Melinda Viergever Inman

    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.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. God bless

  9. Edna Davidsen – Greenland – How to use Twitter? ★ Twitter Expert ★ Twitter Consulting ★ Twitter Trainer ★ Twitter Coach ★ Personal Branding ★ Social Media Marketing ★ Christian Blogger ★ Jesus Follower ★ Webdesign ★ Web-developing
    Edna Davidsen

    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 – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      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

  10. Lisa Q – USA Midwest – Lisa Quintana blogs at ThinkDivinely, and also for the Women in Apologetics (WIA) ministry, where she currently serves as Vice Chair of Communications. ​Lisa also has her M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, a B.A. in Communications (with news media emphasis) from Cal State University, Fullerton, and an A.A. in Christian Studies from Christian Life College, Illinois. Her articles have appeared in several Christian ministry sites. She teaches apologetics at her church in Wisconsin. She’s been involved in leading small group ministries for over 25 years, and recently began speaking at Christian conferences. Find Lisa on Twitter at @LisaQthinks.
    Lisa Q

    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!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      What a beautiful quote. Thanks for sharing

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks

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