Those who know me will know that I have a deep desire and passion for the church to be what Jesus intended it to be. I cannot be moved from this. If you have seen what Jesus intended the church to truly be, then you won’t be easily satisfied with anything less, whatever form ‘church’ might take.
I believe that, at its foundation, church is relational. The reason? Because God is relational within the Trinity and with us. It’s is more than just a bunch of people in relationship. But, at its core, the church is called to emulate God Himself in being relational. If church is first and foremost about management, then the leadership will be come task masters and the people caught up in merely performing tasks, even if those tasks look ‘fun’. That is not healthy.
But remember, when I say the church is relational at its core, I do not mean that it is a social club. Sure, within the body of Christ, we make and grow friendships. But if it stops there, if the idea is mainly about ‘hanging out’ on a Sunday (on whenever) with some friends, then we have still missed the point. We have still not seen what Jesus is building.
The thing is that we are headed somewhere together, ultimately to see the kingdom rule of God come on earth as it is in heaven, to see the body of Christ reach full unity and maturity in the faith, and all the while being salt and light across our entire lives to the people of this God-created world in which we live.
Also, if we don’t see what Jesus Himself is building, then we will probably just end up building like the church down the street, or according to what we’ve read in a book, or what we’ve seen on television. It’s not that we cannot learn from others. Of course we can. But again, we are not called to note what a church with a few thousand are doing and then implement their programme so we, too, can reach their place of growth. In the end, it is about seeing what Jesus is building and listening to what God would want to do in our midst.
So, we can build social clubs and audience-oriented services, all in the name of being culturally relevant, which, by the way, I am for being relevant in culture. But if that is our foundation, it will ultimately be shakeable. And shakeable things will ultimately be removed (Hebrews 12:26-28). That is not a doomsday prophecy by any means, it’s just reality. And I’m positive some shaking will come to my life as well.
For your own viewing sake, below is a video parody put together by North Point Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, led by Andy Stanley. I believe this was a parody, thus, it is a bit of an exaggeration. Still, though it is a bit over-the-top, it is amazing how this does speak into many parts of the church. But this is not the foundation of what church is. This is not necessarily what Jesus had in mind. Again, remember, I’m not one against being culturally relevant. But view this parody and remember we are called to so much more as the body and bride of Jesus Himself. Let us see what Jesus is building and participate accordingly.