different not better

new venture christian church was launched in october 2004. we are on our forth year of existence and ministry on the south side of richmond. anyone who knows anything about this part of richmond is aware that there is not a shortage of churches to be found in these parts. for example, we use a house on courthouse rd (201 n courthouse rd) as a ministry center. courthouse rd could easily be renamed “church street.” it is one of the churchiest streets i have ever seen. just standing in front of our ministry center/house i can see one church and two pieces of property that are owned by churches for construction purposes.

so if there is one thing this area didn’t need it is just another church. and we did not launch nvcc to be just another church. but we planted new venture to be a different kind of church, not better, but different. so for the next few weeks i am going to devote some blog entries to talking about what it is that is different about new venture.

lets start with relaxed, after all, we are relaxedchurch.com. we attempt to have a relaxed approach to doing church. that approach might reveal itself in a number of different ways. for example, ATTIRE. we are not clothes minded. we do not make a big deal about how people dress. we invite people to be relaxed in their clothing choice. for some, that might be jeans and a polo shirt, for others it might be slacks and a blouse or t-shirt or a sweater. in the summer it might be shorts and sandals. and for still others it might be a skirt and nice blouse.

the point is, there is no dress standard. there is no clothing competition. there is no feeling that you are being judged for what you are wearing or not wearing. there is no thought that you are out of place because of what you are wearing.

now, i know that goes against the grain of what some people believe about church and god. some are of the persuasion that church should be the place where you dress your very best. that god deserves nothing less. and for a long time i felt the same way. i have even asked the question in the past, “if i were invited to meet with the president of the united states would i dress in such a casual way, or would i wear a suit and tie? would i dress up?” and my answer was, “i would dress up if i were meeting with the president because that is what the setting calls for.” but i am not meeting with the president each week. i am meeting with my father. and i don’t know about you, but i was never required to dress up to meet with my dad. nv is different in that you are invited into a relaxed setting with relaxed dress where we meet with our father each week.

now don’t misunderstand what i an saying. we are not relaxed in our attitude about god. we take him and respond to him with all seriousness. so, i guess you could say we are different in that we have a relaxed environment without a relaxed attitude. does that make sense?

next time i will talk about the “fun” issue.

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One thought on “different not better

  1. There’s a quote that my friend and I came up with back in California that pertains to this subject and it goes like this: “God doesn’t care what you wear, just as long as you’re there.”

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