“The church is faulty, but that is no excuse for your not joining it, if you are the Lord’s. Nor need your own faults keep you back, for the church is not an institution for perfect people, but a sanctuary for sinners saved by grace, who, though they are saved, are sinners still, and need all the help they can derive from the sympathy and guidance of their fellow believers. The church is the nursery for God’s weak children, where they are nourished and grow strong. It is the fold for Christ’s sheep; the home for Christ’s family” (Charles Spurgeon, “The Best Donation” [sermon, Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, April 5, 1891]).
Rather than searching for a church full of people who look, think, act, and believe like us, we must realize that that church doesn’t exist. And even if it did, it wouldn’t be the church we need. Embracing the tension and struggle of being part of a church community teaches us how to love others and love God.