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Churches are Hospitals, not Clubhouses

Imagine two places – a hospital and a clubhouse. I know where I would want to spend my time. I’m not a fan of hospitals. As a child, I had my fair share of stitches, and it didn’t end well, at least for the doctors who had to put up with me. When we think of hospitals, often we think of the sick, the smells, someone choking on their phlegm , the dying, and paying huge sums of money to be fixed.

Clubhouses on the other hand can be great. Maybe, like me, you golf and you have been to a clubhouse where everything is pristine. Someone takes your bag so you don’t even have to carry it, the art and architecture makes you feel like you have more money than you do. Everything is centered around you.

A church can either be a clubhouse or a hospital.  What do these churches look like?

Churches that are clubhouses have their entire focus internally and on the building. By internally I mean that they only care for the people who attend their church. This goes hand in hand with how they view their building. Now there is nothing inherently evil about having a nice church building, but churches who are only inwardly focused think about the building as a way to only suit those who are the members of their clubhouse.

A church that is a hospital looks different. From a concrete look at the building, the building itself may look the same as a clubhouse church. A  church that is a hospital realizes that the church is for the sick, not just the well. Even Jesus said in Luke 5:31 “Those who are well have no need for a physician, but those who are sick.”

This means that churches are going to look messy sometimes. I’m not talking about scraps of paper some first grader threw on the floor. They should look like a place where people who are hurting, broken, and have no hope come to be healed. That means you may come to church and see someone who may discourage you, not encourage you. But that person needs your encouragement. They need the love of God and Jesus Christ.

I am happy to say that I believe Cornerstone has caught this vision of being a hospital and not a clubhouse.   Instead of telling those who are bleeding at the door, “you’ll ruin our carpet” I hear someone yell, “get a hospital bed.” People are coming to be healed, and we can’t do that as a church if we don’t let the sick in.

Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, Pa 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes  or Googleplay.