Friday, September 09, 2005

thoughts on being the church vs going to church

Church as we know it is preventing church as God wants it.


Church, again, is not a meeting; it’s a way of life.


Do not go door to door. –Jesus in Luke 10


The church not only had a message, it was the message. Because the church in itself was ‘good news’ there was no need for proclamation-style evangelism or going door to door. Only when the church as a structure became ‘bad news’, an ill-matching structure for an explosive message, did the need for special ‘good news’ enterprises emerge. Evangelism without a functioning church model is evangelism because of the lack of a working church model, and it provides literally out-of-body experiences and even out-of-body conversions.


The church we preach about is very different than the church we preach to.


Speaking of people attending our religious services…They were attracted, but not included; interested, but not integrated into the enveloping fellowship; harvested and cut, but not gathered into the barn; touched but not transformed. They turned to look briefly at the Way, then turned away, disappointed with what they saw.


The Lord’s supper is actually more a substantial supper with a symbolic meaning, than a symbolic supper with a substantial meaning. God is restoring eating back into our meeting.


Do we need to change from being powerful actors and start acting powerfully?


Excerpts from a book I am reading called: Houses That Change The World by Wolfgang Simson


Anonymous said...

I feel often times Church is just another tradition now, in a long list of things we simply do just to do them. We re-enact the last supper once a month, but we don't do it anything like it. Jesus requested that whenever we broke bread together, we should remember him. Do we only break bread once a month? How many really remember the importance of our community everytime we are together?

The church has become a task that needs to be done, not a life that we want to live. It's stale and has a seriously bad after-taste in the mouths of our youths. Parents push their children into the church hoping it will raise them, but instead it just pushes them away. The environment isn't suitable for raising much of anything anymore. Not because our preachers aren't preaching, but because the church isn't doing anything with it. It's tradition to go and listen, not to apply it to anything in their lives.

Unknown said...

First of all...ouch.
As one of the poor wretches that are aiming at serving the dream of God, the church, to be lived out in a local place with a local face, those words hurt. But I hear ya, and you are the voices that I hear in prayer and long to see find a place at the table again.

Which reminds me of a little clarification that I wanted to give to the part of this post concerning communion: The Lord's supper was celebrated with a huge meal not a little cup and wafer. The spiritual truths of communion were embodied in this experience of a shared meal and drink.

The truths that we only allude to in our most common expressions of communion were more fully experienced in a celebratory evening of laughter, joy, sharing, prayer and even signing, over this new creation reality called the Lords supper.

We have reduced the potency of a powerful tool into a 5 minute, solemn ritual that shrouds the deeper truths it was meant to express. Communion was intended to be a corporate joyous act not merely a sorrowful, serious, merely introspective act.

It’s about the body of Christ and I think we miss that reality painfully in our modern versions of this new testament experience.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. To be honest, I never thought about the significance of communion beyond the symbolism of partaking in the body that was broken and the blood that was poured for our sins (though that's still an important aspect).

Thank you for sharing.