God's church today has so many "looks," it's hard to keep up with all of them: traditional, contemporary, denominational, independant, multi-sight, internet based, and the list goes on and on. Even though these "looks" are varied and distinct from each other, they are all a reflection of the Body of Christ.
It does seem however, that no matter how different one church may be from another, there must be some common "appearances" that should be visible in each of them. There must be a "look" that is most pleasing to the Lord. And at-the-end-of-the-day it doesn't matter what we think the church should look like, since the church belongs to the Lord, the only thing that matters is what do we "look like" to Him!
We might be wise to set aside our design and model for the church for a moment and ask, "What did God fashion His church to "look like" when it first began?" I think we may find, the "look" the Lord is looking for is our "First Look" - the way the church "looked" when it was freshly birthed by the hand of God through the Holy Spirit. If we could get a picture of what that First Church looked like, we may find what God desires to see in us, as His church today.
Here's a brief description of what our "First Look" seemed to be according to chapter two in the Book of Acts:
1. Everyone was passionate about the Corporate Gathering - vs. 46
2. Everyone had something to give and share - vs. 45
3. Everyone gave themselves to discipleship and growing in God's Word - vs. 42
4. Everyone gave themselves to and benefited from consistent fellowship - vs. 46b
5. Everyone brought somebody - vs. 47
It seems this is a little glimpse of the "look" that pleased the Lord because He showered them with His blessings and presence. It's as though He was saying, "Looking good!"
It's fine to have a "distinct look," a "unique look." The church would be boring if we all looked alike. But I do believe it is of vital importance that as we allow the Lord to refine our "individual look," let's be sure we don't lose our "First Look!"