I’m glad that I don’t live in a one-church town. For many, many reasons:
What if the pastor was incompetent? (It happens.)
What if they believed the prosperity gospel?
What if they only sang songs from Hillsong United albums?
What if the congregants fell down during worship all the time? (You were slain in the spirit, were you? Does that mean that God killed you?)
What if they used the NIV Bible in their services?
Worse yet, the King James Bible?
How would I be able to hold onto my grudges?
Would they be into social justice?
How could I show my face there if everyone knew all my issues?
I could ask a thousand more of these…
Variety is the spice of life, in everything except spouses. You should try stick with just one of those, maybe less. I realize there’s the argument about there truly being one Church out there, but we’ve created variety expressions of it. That said, in most cases there are palpable differences between congregations.
I couldn’t imagine living Little House on the Prairie style and having just one option for a place to worship. I’d have to build a chapel behind my home and do my own thing there, like any real American would.
Of course, I jest.
But there’s something truly terrifying about small towns with just one or two churches, one being the standard non-denominational Bible church with the other being either Baptist or Nazarene. I have to admit that I hold a significant bias against small towns, which likely impacts how I think about small-town churches.
I wonder, is there some merit to a lack of options? Is forcing people to worship together by necessity a way for us to get over all of our little hangups? I’m dubious, but theoretically, it seems as if there could be something there.