What Kind of “CHURCH” are you?
I get asked all the time “what kind of church is Citylights?” The immature and sarcastic side
of me would love to answer: “How many can I choose from?” Though tempting, I know what
they’re asking so I respond: “We’re a non denominational Christian Church”.
Recently, I began to think about this statement or response, because within the statement is
the term “denomination”. By definition, denomination means: a religious organization whose
congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices. This has troubled me
greatly because it begs the question, “how can an army (Church) whose infrastructure is rooted
in unity be so divided?”
As I read the scriptures I only find ONE Holy Spirit, ONE Jesus, and ONE church. I believe the
author of Ephesians summed it up best when he wrote Ephesians 4:1-6.
“ I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to
which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one
another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body
and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–one Lord, one
faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Can we see how he emphasizes ONE?
My main point is that we cannot effectively impact a city like Chicago for Jesus if we are not
willing to lay aside some openhanded doctrinal differences (i.e. the timeframe that the rapture
will occur) in order to see lives changed and people saved. Citylights church is filled with a
diverse group of people that have various backgrounds and views on openhanded issues. But,
needless to say we are very strict on closed handed Doctrinal points (i.e. the resurrection of
Jesus). From the beginning, we decided to not focus on the things that divide us but on those that
unite us. The real goal isn’t unity; unity is the byproduct of God’s people truly wanting to bring
God glory and show God’s glory to a lost a broken city. If our goal is to bring God glory then we
will inevitably see unity among God’s people.
So when someone asks: “What kind of Church is Citylights?”
Respond: “a united Church seeking to show God’s Glory to the Whole World!”