Hey, first, I want to turn my few readers out there on to my links page. I have a ton of great resources for you to learn about what we are doing these days.
I find it difficult to explain when people ask how we are doing, because most people just don’t understand our journey to this point. Most of the people we know are and always have been inside the institutional church. That is all they know and understand, which is exactly where I was for a long time. Let me interject this: It was in an institutional church that I heard the Gospel and was saved. From an early age I learned about God. So I am thankful for the institutional church setting in my life. However, I also inherited a lot of extra-biblical baggage that weighed me down with religious stuff and often snuffed out my relationship with Jesus. Over the course of time, I have learned that much of what is done as “church” is not only NOT in the New Testament, it wasn’t even thought of until many years after the original disciples were gone. So much of what we do and say, can easily be misunderstood by well-intentioned people. Our words are sometimes even twisted by people who seek to bring us and our friends harm. I want you to understand that we are not heretics. We have not left the faith. We are very orthodox in our beliefs. The problem for most people is the way we seek to live out those beliefs tends to be a little different, causing good people to raise questions in their minds, and stupid people to speak evil of us behind our backs.
Our goal with CrossLife is to help people connect to God through His Son Jesus. We only desire for people to authentically grow in their relationship with Him. Often, the flurry of activity, programs, practices, and stuff of “regular” churches actually become a substitute for a growing relationship with Christ. I know this, because I was an integral part of such systems for many years. This, of course, is never the intent, but it tends to be more of a reality than an exception. The score card for “effective” church ministry becomes buildings, budgets, and butts in seats rather than life-transformation. All the work that goes into to keeping the institution alive, quite often detracts from what God is trying to do in the world, which is redeeming a people for Himself.
So, you may ask, is “house church” the best way to “do” or “go” to church? I would whole-heartedly say, NO. Why? Because it is actually IMPOSSIBLE to “go” to or “do” church. The church is the people. No one can attend church. Church is not an activity or a meeting. The church is the BODY OF CHRIST, and His body IS NOT built with brick and mortar, whether it is a small house or a gigantic “sanctuary”. You may say, that this is a squibble over semantics, and to that I would say that the evidence shows that most people actually think of the church as the “place” they worship God, give their offering, and sit for an hour a week to hear the professionally-trained “man of God” speak. We train our kids to think this way early on, and it catches on quite nicely. Never, do you see that being taught or lived out anywhere at all in the New Testament. In fact, you would be very hard-pressed to find most of what is commonly done on a Sunday morning in Scripture without wrestling those Scriptures away from their original context.
So, here’s the point, the focus should not be where you may attend church or how big it may be. Instead, the question should be, are you being the church? Is your life being transformed from day to day through your ever-growing relationship with Jesus? Is your walk with Christ being intertwined with other people who are on the same journey? Is your journey impacting those who are moving away from Christ?
These are serious questions that deserve a real answer. Remember, our life is not about what church we are a part of, but how we live out the life Jesus Christ sacrificed in order to give to us. If you would like to read further on these issues, I would invite you to check out my books section and my links section.
Filed under: Advice, Authenticity, Bible, Challenge, Church, Church Planting, CrossLife, Discipleship, Organic Church, Religion, Simple Church | Leave a comment »