Thursday, March 21, 2013

The point of church

It seems to me that in the clashing of modernity and post-modernity,
of an ever expanding world view,
with an ever increasing speed to be informed about anything,
and I mean anything under the sun;
that the question about the point of church is on the radar.

I wonder however, how new the phenomenon really is,
(and as someone who has studied church history, I already know the answer ... i.e. not new at all)
yet we treat it as such.

So I have to wonder why it is we feel like we are going into uncharted territory?
(Something I admit to saying from time to time).  Maybe because we are.

Is it because prepackaged church programs aren't bringing new people in?
Is that we are finally learning that church should never have been constructed as a business,
modeling itself after the successful business models of the day?

Yesterday I got a call from a local news channel that wants to "brand" our church
and publicize the best ministries in an ad
that will run on their web site.
I don't think the salesperson's pitch was any different for the local businesses she called that day,
than it was for the church.
And maybe in the the world of advertising it shouldn't be.

But in the church it should be.
Jesus Christ and those who follow him shouldn't be a commodity to brand and advertise.
The model of success should not mirror the business world.
There have always been those who have been bold enough to question
 the meaning behind anything we do in the name of Jesus.

You see I am not opposed to letting people know about my church,
I just wonder if we have grown too accustomed to seeing church as something we attract people to,
in the same way a business attracts customers.
When was the last time someone from Target or the local grocery came to your house
or started a conversation with you at the park about shopping at their store?
Probably never.  Businesses attract, we come in, we exchange money for their services, and go home.

The point of church is not to exchange money for a service and then go home.

Church = the gathering of those who follow Christ.
It is about inviting others to follow Christ along side you
and that just doesn't happen inside a church building.
This type of invitation comes from relationship not from advertising.

And I think when we get our heads and hearts around the
point of church then we will better understand
how it is we invite others to be part of what we do.

It might even change how we do ministry together when
we are gathered in Christ's name.

Easter ... ready ... set ... go!

Matthew 28:1-10 About three years ago I committed to the Narrative Lectionary.   It is a four-year cycle that takes the congregation t...