Church….


The whole attitude of  “we have been doing church wrong” has me frustrated.  I just don’t get it.  I have prayed about, chewed on it, pondered it, read the Word, and read about 1/2 of Pagan Christianity….scanned The Organic Church and have come to a conclusion.  This world is full of all kinds of people…..and all kinds of  churches….in all kinds of locations & environments.  I think  whether it is house church or a church in a organized building, a church in a stoe front, a church in a block building in Africa, or an underground church, the problem is that people are hung up on the word church!  Shouldn’t we just say we are the church (Christians) and realize that God calls everyone to ministry in different ways….and that might be in an organized church or a church in your house in a neighborhood…..as long as people in both situations are sharing Jesus and the salvation & love He has to offer AND studying and living by God’s Word……I am glad people are being obedient and doing different ways of ministering to different groups of believers…..
 
But I feel that we all need to get our flesh out of the way and realize we are all on the same team, for goodness sakes.  Quit judging who is doing it right.  Just encourage and pray and assist each other in every way possible to harvest the fields!
 
Seems funny to me that the church (Christians) have made it this far, if we’ve been doing it wrong for the last 1,000  or so years!!!  You think it would have just died out because we were doing it all wrong!!! (sarcasm, sarcasm)
 
I think it makes Satan rub his little evil sweaty palms together in excitement when we silly Christians strain against each other in order to be righteously right about how God wants us to do anything.  He is winning when we judge and throw around opinions that divide us…..we must continue to unite, use any way possible and every opportunity possible to love others, invest in them, share Jesus and the salvation He has to offer…..not just “invite them to church.”  Let’s ALL be light in a dark world, salt that changes things and reach out to anyone and everyone.  If we love Jesus,  if we are broken before Him, if we desire to serve Him, if we surrender our own wills to His and if we choose obedience we will all be striving for the same thing and reaching people with whatever method God impresses on us!
It’s not about “who’s doing it right”, it’s about whether we’re doing it at all!  Share Jesus….share Jesus…..share Jesus…but first love.  Let’s stop getting bogged down in our opinions about junk and just listen to God’s prompting to speak truth to those we live next door to or stand in line with at Wal Mart….it won’t be easy or comfortable, but it will be rewarding because we listened and obeyed!

3 thoughts on “Church….

  1. Dana,
    It sounds like the church you’re involved with has a great focus and is genuinely doing their best to equip the people and reach out to the community. We were doing the same. The problem is that most people tend to depend on leaders and programs more than on Jesus and how he is leading them in regard to their neighbors, involvement in the community, etc. In the process, millions of dollars and and tons of energy is spent on buildings, administration and everything else it takes to keep the machine going. And in spite of all the encourgement to be incarnational, most of the effort goes to being attractional. Still, the issue is not how we “do church” but how fruitful we are in being the church. If you can be involved with a clergy led, program based church and still have the time to develop meaningful relationship with brothers and sisters, functioning in the “one anothers” that are usually assigned to leaders, develop relationships with your neighbors and co-workers, and be free to do whatever the Holy Spirit tells you to do without conflicting with church schedule or duties, more power to you! I certainly am not going to say you’re doing it wrong.
    I have good friends in the institutional church and agree with you that Christians should be united in heart and work together wherever we can. Yet in general, the church system today has had very little impact on the world and has set forth a poor example by creating a myriad of polarizing influences and false reference points for identification such as denominations, this or that man or woman of God, pet doctrines, and yes, even methodology. But I’m not expousing house church, simple church, organic church or any other methodology, only that we are better off without the unnecessary encumbrances that have been added since Jesus died and rose again simply to make a way for us to have a relationship with the Father.
    I have no issue with the people of God except to love them and accept them where ever they may be in their philosophy. I take issue only with the religious systems that would rob Christians of their inheritance by confusing their true identity while misdirecting their loyalties, energies and finances.

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  2. I understand your frustration and agree with much of what you’ve stated above. However, after pastoring for many years and told by guest speakers and others that our church had the most mature and enthusiastic group of people they had ever ministered to, I began to realize that something was wrong. Though we prayed and fasted for revival and reached out extensively to the lost both at home and abroad, the percentage of people in the congregation that felt they had an intimate relationship with Christ was very small. There was very little fruit in spite of all our labors. In working with pastors in the city, I discovered that this was the case everywhere. Barna’ statistics confirmed it as well.

    I finally came to the conclusion that something was wrong with the way we “did” church. To make a long story shorter, we discovered that the unbiblical authority structure established in our church and typical in most others kept people from being the royal priests God had called and anointed them to be. Furthermore, the church building and all that happened there became the spiritual center of their lives. Church was something that was organized and happened at the building rather than all week long as it should among a people who are called to be the church. Church was something to be attended rather than something that you are as a body. Of course they were taught and knew these truths on an intellectual basis, but experientially church was misdefined. According to my research and the research of many others this is the case with the majority of Christians who attend an institutional church.

    So I agree with you that we shouldn’t be agruing about the way to “do church, for church is not something you do, but who you are. Yet if we mis-define church and wrongly place people “over” it, people become bogged down in religious obligation and are not free to be the church. Clergy based systems, performance motivated structures and programs that keep people too busy to make friends with their neighbors create bondages that Christ died to free us from.

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    1. David….
      I understand what you are saying and I agree. Especially those of us who are 40-something’s who have grown up in church “doing” all the church stuff in an effort to be considered “serving”. There has to be a happy medium somewhere. I have friends who have stepped away from “traditional” church and have started a house church…..it’s a pretty radical thing here in the belt buckle of the south! The thought process is so contrary to what we’ve always known that it is sometimes hard to wrap you mind around the concept and how it works. I still believe that the church I attend is not necessarily doing church “wrong” because we are more community minded than most churches I have seen in this area. We reach out in so many ways. However, and I have to swallow hard when I say this, I wonder if being “attractional” is sometimes a problem. We have an amazing music program that has “attracted” many people who were ultimately saved through their interest in the great worship we have, as well as the opportunties to serve in that ministry. Each year we put on Gulf Coast Christmas and have several thousand in attendance over a 4 performance period. We have seen 100’s saved. I have struggled with participating this year b/c I’m not sure about the “show” part. Yet I know the music pastor and staff so well, and I know their hearts are to see people come in to see a Christmas program and hear the truth and see them saved. The emphasis is ALWAYS on inviting the lost and not being entertained. There is drama, dancing, an orchestra, and a 100+ choir, all striving (or it seems) for the same thing – a program that pricks the heart of those in attendance, points them to Jesus and salvation.

      But I digress….the pastor emphasizes our need to be Jesus where we live, in our jobs, in line at Wal Mart, etc. Not “invite people to church”, but investing in their lives and building relationships and living out Christ before them. So my question is, I guess, are we doing it wrong? And if so, how and why? Or is this just one more “opinion issue” where “we the people (Christians)” don’t see eye to eye on the mission of the church and it leads to people going out and starting their own church. I come from a place where the number of churches on any given road is ridiculous! Not that having so many is all that bad, I just think…”the world probably thinks we are just a bunch of silly Christians who can’t agree, so we have a bazillion churches because we can’t get along” type of thing. We are supposed to be united in our mission, not arguing amongst ourselves over format…..but, wait, I do think what you said about those that come and sit and are “educated” in God’s Word yet do nothing to reach others….just sit comfortably and soak up everything. I think that any time any amount of people gather together – whether in a house church or a highly attended church – there will always be those that come to soak up and those that come to hear God’s Word and be changed and go out and put hands & feet to what they have learned.
      Thanks for responding to my blog….

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