10/11/08

Church

As you have probably noticed I have been thinking quite a bit about church lately. We just started a church plant in Smithers, BC called Main Street Christian Fellowship. It is a small non-denominational fellowship group.

The whole idea and concept of church has been rattling through my head. As we look at various traditions I find myself asking why? Why do we do this or that? What is the purpose? Is it filled with the Life of Christ or do we do it out of habit?

I am asking questions. Not only of others but of God. I can't say I have had any major breakthroughs but asking questions is good. It is stimulating. It is also eye-opening to see how others deal with these same questions.

1 comment:

histruthwillsetyoufree said...

Hello Rick,
Like you, I have thought and prayed about the kind of church that Jesus would want. I find myself looking back to the earliest churches, described in Acts. The church that has come to my mind looks something like this:
Small groups of people meet in houses. There is no paid staff, there are no church building mortgages or other expenses. Yet there is an offering. The offering from each small house-church goes into some kind of central pool. Whenever an attendee of the church has a financial need, their needs are provided for out of the church pool. And likewise, non-financial needs are also meet by the church, primarily the small group which is really an extension of the family.
I also envision no formal membership process; if you attend even once, you are considered part of the family. When the "house churches" meet, their purpose might simply be to worship God, study His word, and learn about and pray for the needs of each other. Leaving no room for "traditions" (I have a strong aversion to traditions, which tend to get in the way of the truth).
I realize that it may be impossible for such a model to work in the world we live in. Too many opportunities for things like corruption and "stealing from the church purse."
But Jesus specialized in overcoming impossibilities. So I still hope, and imagine.
Imaging a church whose only purpose is to worship God and help each other. Imagine the magnetic power of a church that is publicly known for lovingly taking care of the needs of those who come to it, looking for help. All "members" of the church are cared for by the church. No condemnation, no guilt, just love. And the "church" would no longer be thought of as a gothic-looking building somewhere, but as a family of loving people.
It seems to me that a model like that would work. After all, Jesus said that people would know we are His disciples by our love for each other, not by the opulence of the building we meet in.
Gee, I think I'll write a post about all this stuff. Thanks for getting me thinking about this again. All the best to you,
E.D. Jones