Tuesday, May 16, 2006

a new kind of church...pt. 5

A Reason To Be Encouraged

On Joel’s blog today, he re-asks the question that many of us have asked, several times over, on our own blogs. What does it mean to do/be church? Can you do/be church without attending a specific program in a specific building?

I think many of us are discouraged when it comes to church. Ben recently wrote…

“I want to look upon God with fresh eyes and recapture the wonder that I missed out on because church, the institution, got to me before Jesus did.”

That’s a very telling statement and I think a lot of people share it. Including me.

Many of us refer to “the New Testament church” when trying to describe the kind of church we want to be a part of. We use words like community to describe a church that’s made up of supportive relationships rather than methodical programming. We use words like journey to describe a church that’s experiencing life together rather than just learning theology. And we use words like “a life of worship” to describe the type of people we want to be as opposed to a day of worship which sounds more like a scheduled act than a life of surrender.

And that is exactly why we have reason to be encouraged.

Look around! Click on the links in my right hand column, and then click on the links in their right hand columns! You and I aren’t the only ones asking these questions. Lots of people are asking them. And as I read these blogs ,and the conversations that follow them, I’m beginning to understand that a shift is taking place in the church. As we look around for a different kind of church, and as we change our thoughts on what church is, we will inevitably become a different kind of church. And it’s happening in small growing pockets all over the world.

Don’t get me wrong. We have a looooong way to go. We still spend more time talking about a life of worship than we do actually living one out. And certainly those with the most power in the church aren’t looking to give up that power. But change it will. And change it is.

So be encouraged. Keep asking the questions. And, most importantly, commit to being a different kind of church rather than just wishing for one.

Comments on "a new kind of church...pt. 5"

 

Blogger BLUE said ... (4:08 AM) : 

I'm going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean.
I like that. Nice pick Tim.

 

Blogger Larry said ... (1:22 PM) : 

"the institution, got to me before Jesus." I think that is the story for most of us. We do have a pretty fair distance to travel, but I do thank God for those people who were Godly enough to march to their own calling from God and whose influence still helps me today. They were in the institution, but not part of it.

 

Blogger peter said ... (6:35 PM) : 

I know I had a similar discussion going on my blog some months back.

The Army, for example, is a group of believers sharing and serving together, but does that make us a church?

Many in the Christian world would say we are not because we don't partake in communion.

Here is the link to the specific post: http://www.lublink.ca/?p=64

So what do we need to be the church?

Like most people the question of what the post-modern church is and what it should be seems to come up on my blog every few posts. Like you have said that kind of openess is excellent and a sign that big things are changing.

Cheers,

Peter
www.lublink.ca

 

Blogger Isaiah6:8 said ... (8:47 PM) : 

You're the man, and helping view this on a bigger scale. I think you are right in saying that there is a moving away that will be years in the making.

Keep missioning Tim. God is present.

joel

 

Blogger Matt L said ... (11:47 PM) : 

I like this blog mate - really positive!

Thanks :)

 

Blogger Jimena said ... (6:04 PM) : 

Just wanted to say that I find your posts to be very encouraging! Thanks for sharing.
God bless!

 

Blogger Bill said ... (11:09 PM) : 

Why church?

 

Blogger Matt L said ... (11:21 PM) : 

That's semantics, Bill...You got a new name for it? - submit it on a postcard to...

The Ivory Tower,
777 Peacetime Issue Street,
Don't-waste-my-time town
B0 RED

 

Blogger Bill said ... (3:09 AM) : 

Not the name.
Why church as a structure?
Why should the Army try to be a church with all the church programing?
Maybe thats just the social service westerner talking but its a question we need to answer.

 

Blogger Mhairi said ... (5:00 PM) : 

Sometimes it does feel like we are wasting time when we talk so much about "Being the Church," "Doing Church." The most impressive group of people I see "Doing Church" are aged 15-18; they have no idea what we are going on about - they think they are just having fun.

However, I think you are right Tim, asking the obvious questions, ensures that we know the obvious answers. I was 19 before I knew what the tradition/symbolism behind the holiness table! I didn't know 'til Larry asked me. After fumbling for an answer, he told us. Each of us feeling very foolish; if he hadn't asked, I'd never have known.

 

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