Rethinking Church

Welcome! Once weekly from February 17th Until March 31st this Blog/Facebook discussion is part Bible Study, part Book Discussion, and part Practical Workshop based upon the book Right Here Right Now: Everyday Mission for Everyday People by Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford. You may post responses to this post (either on the blog or Facebook), repost, start a new related post, or message with others regarding the posted discussion for the week.

Rethinking Church

What is the church? Is it a building? Is it a group of people? Is it a 501c3 non-profit organization?

Why do we go to church? Is it to be ‘good’ people? Is it to show God our love? Is it to do good works in the community? Is it to make friends?

What is the purpose of church? Is worship God once a week? Is it to learn about Christian faith? Is it to practice our devotion to God? Is it to be an example of God’s plan to the world?

Lots of questions. All pointing to true things about the church…   but not the whole truth

In the Bible, the apostle Paul, often refers to the a group of Christ-followers as ‘church’. And, he refers to ‘church’ as the BODY of Christ. Is he being literal? Of course not. But, why would he use imagery of a ‘body’ to describe God’s people.

we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:15-16)

When I think ‘body’…   I think athletes. There are many different kinds athelete’s bodies. They are all shapes and sizes. But, whatever the shape or size, all athletes bodies share three things in common:

1) They are all readily recognized for the type of sport they train for. Bodybuilders are strong with large muscles and runners are thin with wiry muscles.

2)They are complex ‘engines’ in which each muscle group works together with the others to achieve top performance

2) They are trained and tuned with hard-work, dedication, and discipline that wells up from a LOVE for the sport that they do.

In Right Here Right Now Chapter 7 Lance and Alan take up this discussion of the church as BODY of Christ. The point out that Christ-followers who gather together as the church, do so in a way that is far more personal and involved than merely being members of an organization, or casual friends, or even co-workers. Rather, they characterize people coming together as the ‘body of Christ’ as being partners together (and together with God) in living, loving, and extending love to others.

Something really special develops between people who make a daily commitment to love God and each other, grow together, and take on God’s mission together.

Just coming to the church building once a week on Sundays won’t do it. Just participating in the life of the church when it is casual and convenient won’t do it. Being a Christ-follower and part of the Body of Christ (the church) is a lifestyle and a life journey. One where the joys and benefits can’t be realized until we are committed and on our way!