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When Jesus and the church come together August 8, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, emerging church/emergent, Philosophy/Religion, Post-restoration/Restoration Movement.

The rant in the previous post was a little over the top and deserves some balance – probably more than I am going to give it here.

The American church is not lost. There is hope. The hope, however, is not so much found in the denominational structure of church organizations, but rather in the hearts and minds of the people making up those churches and denominations and using those structures for accomplishing the mission of God.

Katrina relief is a terrific example. When churches and denominations gave of their time and money and other resources, they gave along denominational lines in large measure, but then again, there was a huge willingness to cross those lines and serve together. Had there been no organizational structures in place, then the aid would not have moved nearly as fast or efficiently. One year later, churches are still teaming up to house clean up crews and weekend mission relief teams and keep help moving.

I guess my point with all of that is not that the structure is bad, but that it is a bad master. When it is used to serve the mission, then it is good, but when it becomes the mission, then it is bad.

THw size of the group or organization has a lot to do with it. When groups become large, more organization is required. However, there is a consuming seduction that comes with size which draws attention from being used for the mission of God to maintaining the organization itself. Then there is the seduction of being important. Big starts to mean important and important is worth protecting and what’s worth protecting must be the mission.

When horses push carts, the whole thing gets messed up, direction is lost, and people get hurt.

It should not take Hurricane Katrina, 9-11, or a tsunami for the church to find its mission. And thankfully, many are not waiting. Yes, repsond to disaster and the destruction of terror, but don’t wait around for it to happen. Get active locally, in the flow of everyday life. Rick Warren once said that when a church gets bigger it must get smaller. That’s the place where Jesus and the church come together.


1. ruminatingpilgrim - August 8, 2006

These are two of the best posts I’ve read calling the church to be the Church in a while. Excellent.

It’s funny. I find your comments eerily like those of our African friends and an Asian missionary family we know well. They are looking to the American church to be more spiritually proactive, but are constantly disappointed in our complacency.

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