Further Thoughts on Church

By | January 14, 2009

Those of you who have been following me know that I am part of a home fellowship, and have some thoughts about church that are different than what is most common. I wanted to say a few things about this. First, to my knowledge only one of my friends so far has read one of the two books that have influenced me recently. Without having done so, you probably won’t have an understanding of the vision of the church that I’m seeing. It’ll take some time and thought to grasp the ideas which are being offered—it’s not something which can be communicated real quickly. That’s because what is being offered is more of a paradigm shift rather than a matter of just tweaking what we’re already doing a bit.

That said, I’ll try to give you an idea of it with a simple metaphor. The core shift in thinking is changing from seeing church as an organization to seeing it as an organism. The church is not (supposed to be) a robot, where you can understand it in full by studying blueprints, science, mechanics, etc., and then program it to do what you want. The church is more like a living person or animal (or perhaps more accurately, like a flock or herd of animals). In order to care for and help the being to grow, one must spend time with them learning what they are like and how to nurture them. If you have no experience but have only studied theory, and then try to apply mechanics or otherwise program the creature, you are likely to succeed in killing it.

Our home fellowship isn’t near to obtaining this in my opinion. By talking about what we are doing, I don’t want to give the mistaken impression that I believe we have arrived and are perfectly practicing being the church. I don’t think we’re really even close yet, but we understand that an infant doesn’t become an adult overnight. The idea though is to try and start moving in that direction, and be in a position where we are open and available for God to guide us forward.

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