A lot has been said about what “Church” should look like.
Thousands of books have been written about it.
There are many, many workshops and educated teachers whose primary purpose is to instruct the Church how to be…how to exist.
What if we are doing Church all wrong?
Many denominations have glommed onto specific acts of worship – Baptism, Communion, Flag waving, Altar calls, Speaking in tongues, Music Styles, Multi-media blitzes…etc. -And these are all good things -sometimes important elements of worship, BUT what happens when these “good things” become the main focal point? Could they become over emphasized? Could these mere elements of worship become worship itself – completely devoid of its original purpose?
In the process of becoming “Church”…are there times when we lose sight of why we’re a Church in the first place? I don’t mean to deconstruct the Body of Christ today, but I feel very strongly about this subject. I believe our belonging to Christ is enough…we do not need rituals to maintain or get closer to God. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that these elements of worship are all rituals, but when we do them week after week, month after month, year after year – and we just go through the motions of them…are we in danger of making these outward expressions of the inward change a ritual?
I am not saying that we throw the baby out with the bath water here, but perhaps we need to be more conscious of what we do in worship.
Another question that I often ponder is this –
Is the Body of Christ really supposed to look like the Churches that we see in our communities today? Are we really supposed to be separated and divided?
Again, this is not a bash upon any church or denomination, but rather an intern perspective here. I believe that man made edifices have, at times, taken the holiness out of our holy of holies.
When we try to organize everything, and building our kingdoms, when we try and grow our congregations and sometimes compete against the church down the street…have we lost sight of why we’re a church in the first place?
ACTS 2 Church
The Acts 2 church looks vastly different that any church that I know of today.
These men and women lived in community together…kind of like a commune, but more like a family…not a cult, but a body of Christ built together out of love. They shared EVERY Resource that they had. They ate together, they prayed together, they added to their numbers daily. People saw their love of Christ and it was infectious!
We live in a very individualistic society today…we don’t really understand the Hebrew culture of the Acts 2 church. We don’t get to be that close any more in our churches. Sure, we invite one another out to eat after church, or we go to one another’s homes…but our worship services today are so structured and methodical…there’s an order to it. I am not saying that this is wrong, but sometimes “Community” only becomes achieved on Sundays for an hour or two, and maybe a during another hour at midweek. We don’t look like that early church anymore.
I wish I had an answer in how we can recapture some of that fellowship…wait there is – Discipleship. Fellowship. Family.
We must be more intentional in our church families to be disciples as well as disciplers.
We don’t always operated as individuals in the Body of Christ – we are joined together, and we need that fellowship – just as God desires that kind of fellowship with us!
What if true Church was more about that fellowship than the number of scripturally accurate hymns or contemporary songs we sing on Sundays? What if God desires more than just a water baptism or a morsel of bread and wine on our lips? What if it’s not about flag waving but heart changing? What if Church is more about what we do outside of the walls of a million dollar structure than what we do on the inside?
I think we get so blindsided by our elements of worship that we forget to look outside.
Sure, we need to be fed, but if all we do is gorge ourselves in our buildings while the world around us is starving, are we “Doing Church” right?
I think that before we can “Do Church” we have to “BE Imitators of Christ“…We have to experience the inward change of our hearts before any of these outward things can be evident and real. After all, wasn’t it God’s instruction to “Be Holy”…not “Do Holy” (Lev 20:26) We get these backwards many, many times.
I pray that within our walls of “Church” we first focus on being reflections of Him, then we take that reflection into the world so that others might see Him and believe as well!
Something more to ponder today!
You might disagree with me…so be it.
To God be the glory!