Friday, October 10, 2008

What's your vision of a Church?

I have been kicking around some thoughts I've been having about the format of today's church. I don't know if it's the whole "the grass is greener on the other side" kinda thing, but I've heard testimonies and visited other formats of churches that seem to have something that our modern form of church doesn't. I'm still in the information gathering stage of this scientific method. But one thing I do believe is that the traditional conservative church today has lost the "body" mentality, it's more like a "machine" mentality and instead of "members" its' "cogs". We're only valuable when we fulfill a job function, and everything the church does is centered around grooming us for a position in the machine. Whereas a "body" would nurture a "member" to be fit for the kingdom, whole, holy, useful, a vessel of honour, and loved. See there is a difference between nurture and grooming. I've sat under fundamental preaching my entire saved life, and will continue too, but one thing that our churches lack is actual discipleship, and when you have fundamental preaching (hard preaching on truth) to a crowd of hearers of the word what you get is a congregation of really good actors. We know all the right things to do, how to look like a good baptist and how to act like a good christian, but it's all in theory and not in practice. Kind of like when I went to HVAC school, in class we learned all about air conditioners, I could name every part and what it did and how it worked.... The first time I actually worked on one I felt like I was exposed for a total fraud. I was an hvac technician, I had the hvac technician knowledge, but I was never shown how it worked. I didn't need coddled but I did need mentored or apprenticed. Well I'm a born again christian, I've sat under biblical teaching for four years, but it seems like I've just caught the vision of what our lives as believers are supposed to be about. I don't know maybe it's because of my youth or the because of the late start I had, being saved only a few years ago, or that maybe having received blessings from the LORD (four going on five) and the responsibilities he gave me with them has made me mature. It seems to me that this kind of vision for family, home, spiritual life, walk with the Saviour would be passed on from believer to believer. Think about it, it's not that weird and don't get me wrong I don't think we should do all the leg work for someone, if they are tares nothing will convict them of that better than constant intense exposure to the light. I talked to a man I respect about this and he liked my vision but had no idea how to do that in today's church.
I think a church needs to be discipleship centered. If you have a church full of thoroughly discipled believers on fire for the LORD they will be able to do more for the Kingdom of God than a hundred churches full of "new recruits". The same zeal is there but many are weak in the faith and soon get discouraged. I know.
I think a church should be interactive, not just a few hundred people sitting in a pew looking towards a preacher for an hour and a half then leaving. There needs to be accountability and fellowship, probably more of accountability than anything.
I think a church should be family oriented, not family friendly, and definitely not business oriented. We shouldn't look at people who walk through the church doors as a potential work force but as fellow laborers. I think a Church should be good stewards but I don't think they should be after financial gain.
I believe that a church should stand firm on the word of God as it's only source of guidance. Not conventions or committees. I believe that Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life and that he is sweet enough to attract the lost sinner, we do not need gimmicks to bring crowds.
Please share what your vision for a church would be.

Editors Note: 10-12-2008
Here is a link to a post in response to this post. Very well put! CLICK HERE!


Angeltouch said...

Here is an extreme example: I grew up in the roman catholic church and it seemed as such a separation when we went in there and saw how others played righteous people and then went home after an hour and the same people were coming home drunk the next afternoon beating up their wife etc. but as long as they came back the next Sunday dressed up everything was ok. There was no "follow up" - besides the one caroling visit around Christmas time. Where people cleaned their homes for hours before the priest came over. All about appearances. I recently found a church where I can say i felt at home from the moment I entered it. People greeting others at the door with a warm embrace, I felt the presence of the holy ghost when we worshiped, The message unchanged but delivered in a way that everyone who wanted to understand understood. I got a card thanking me for coming to worship with them! The warmth of the people did not come from "we want a new member in our club" but from genuine christian love. I have never been to a church like that before. They stand together in the community to put an end to abortion, they had a fall kick off with hayrides for the kids etc. they have a man's breakfast and so on and so on. And as far as the financial part goes I believe that god opens doors for those who do his work. The offering there is taking mostly at the altar. I have been there since 6 weeks or so and saw more people saved and financial miracles happen then in my entire life before. However there are churches out there who say " come in and leave your money, we have everything here you need" - but the lord is missing. So I agree with you without genuine fellowship there is this kind of mechanic, robot like behavior. I saw it first hand. God bless and I look forward to see you guys soon!

kjvbaptist said...

you couldn't have said it better in many ways. Bro, have you started reading your bible again? Yes you have. No on a serious note, i do believe that if the masses are doing it or that it appeals to the masses then, Biblically its just got to be flawed or wrong. The reason the friend can't see this working is that it doesn't the system. instead of fundamentally changing the way the church is structured it is not going to work. it can't, just like you said (which was really good), "I think a church should be family oriented, not family friendly, and definitely not business oriented." how perfect is that. Subtlety. that statement is way bigger than this whole post. so much there. but again, how do you do it. i think you have to, and i mean, really mean have to, start from scratch. Unless you have an odd vision change of over 250 people at one church, its not going to change. so i think that we should look at it from a foundational point of view and not from a change the vision point of view. you cant add this, it has to be founded on it. More later

The Watchman said...

This is a very good post about the same topic in a since.