One size does not fit all. That is true for many things in life and it is also true for churches. I was convinced prior to planting a church in Chandler, Arizona that we would be able to meet the spiritual needs of any person walking through our doors. Whether they are mature Christians, recently converted to Christianity or doubters, we would be able to minister to all of them.
It was not too long after our initial worship service that I found that to be a false premise. A couple began worshipping at our church and also happened to reside very close to where our family lived. Because of the close proximity of our homes, not only would I see them at church functions but also had interaction with them during the entire week. I discovered in our conversations that they had experiences that I do not even dream about. They made claims of being levitated out of their beds in the middle of the night; knives thrown through their doors and other supernatural phenomena that I have never experienced. I confess I have a difficult time believing those things really happened. (Although I never doubted the stories at the time they told them to me.) He also invited me to attend a “Full Gospel Businessmen’s Meeting”. It was shortly after that experience that we had a talk and I confessed that perhaps they would better fit into a more “Spirit-Filled” church. They agreed and we parted ways at good Christian friends.
I believe just like we all have different personalities that make it impossible for us to be close friends with every person we meet, so also churches have personalities that limit their ability to incorporate every person that passes through their doors. I think denominationalism is a good thing because it meets the needs of different people with different perspectives and personalities.
Even within the CRC we have a variety of churches with differing styles of worship, programs and personalities. Each church needs to ask the question what is our emphasis and who are we attempting to reach? I do not believe you can be “all things to all men”. Some of our churches are more individualistic without any or little emphasis on the denomination; others have exactly the reverse emphasis.
So the question is what is your church’s personality? A good way to answer that question is to survey first time visitors or better yet those who have worshipped with you a few times.