Monday, July 11, 2011

What is church

Yesterday I visited some friends and their community to discuss a bit of what it means to be church, and share some of my story. One young man said, "church is a group of people learning what it means to follow Jesus in their neighborhood" Or something to that effect. I thought it was a wonderful, simple, yet profound answer.

The church is not an event, where someone teaches us what it means to follow Jesus, but rather a community, within which we learn by doing, by acting out the gospel, by being the extension of Jesus life, here and now. This is what being the church is.

As the three or four of you that read this blog know, I am not one for moderation. As far as I am concerned we should tear down the whole structure, and start from the ruins. But revolution for its own sake will build the same crap, or even worse. What we must seek to become, is a community, of people drawn together by love, for love. What we must walk out is the messy, ugly, painful meaning of the kingdom of heaven.

Lets start with being the change we want to see in the church



Johnny Cankles said...

Great post! There are many traditions in the church which need to be destroyed. Tradition for the sake of tradition is useless.

Jim said...

Actually, the Church isn't a community either:

“The Church is a kind of space, cleared by God through Jesus in which people may become what God made them to be (God's sons and daughters), and what we have to do about the church is not first organise it as a society but to inhabit it as a landscape.”

Some guy called Rowan Williams.

john jensen said...

thats beautiful, but I disagree


Brian said...

Yes and yes, bro. What is our life of following Christ if it's not the messy, beautiful, challenging, joyous everyday pursuit of life while trying to love YHWH and another alongside other folk traveling the same way? Lord, have mercy on our efforts...

Carol Kirchmer said...

Terrific thoughts! I like the words to the song, "We are the Church," Words & Music by Richard K. Avery and Donald S. Marsh, 1972

"I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we're the church together!"
"The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people." etc., etc.
Blessings on you, John.

Samuel said...

Very interesting Rev! I like the hands on approach and how you said that church isn´t about going to a place to "learn about something" but that you gather with family/community to be the church and to act as the church should in the world.

Tell Ade, Raquel, and Cheyene I say hello!

Blessings to you and your family, John!

sabrutat said...

Can't help but agree with you, Rev.

Incidently, I went to a Christian wedding last week for one of my rugby brethren, and the preacher/priest dude delivered a sermon primarily aimed at converting all the other ruggers in the congregation.

It didn't work.

CMA Resources said...

In CMA, we have defined church this way: The presence of Jesus among His people, called out as a spiritual family to pursue His mission on this planet. Church begins and ends with Jesus among us. All the typical ingredients listed to describe church were in the upper room in Acts chapter one but the church really began in Acts chapter two when only one other important ingredient was added: the Spirit of God showed up! God among us is what makes us any different from the Elks Club.

more discussion at