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!