Thursday, December 14, 2006

Re:Thinking

My wife is sick - struck by the flu...nasty stuff. I spent the morning getting my blood drawn for a Doctor's appointment next week. The nurse began with my right arm and missed the vein. She proceeded to the left arm and hit red. I guess 50% is pretty good. Breakfast was at my usual morning hangout. A jalapeno bagel with peanut butter is the bomb (don't say yuck unti you try it :-). As I was paying for my treat after fasting for the blood draw, Karen and I exchanged hello's and short discussion about the holidays. Karen has worked at Einstein's for several months now. She asked me if I enjoy the holiday's and I answered with a robust 'yes'. I shared that I was enjoying pondering the Christmas story and such. She mentioned that this is the first Christmas in a long that she could enjoy because she wasn't in some sort of trouble. I guess my look indicated that I didn't know her story so she then said quietly, 'last year I was in jail'. A few minutes later I became engaged in a conversation with Joan, the store manager and told her that she did a good job at running the store and that Karen had told me where she spent last Christmas. I mentioned to Joan that she really has shown grace to Karen. Joan commented how good an employee Karen is. In our conversation, Joan mentioned that Karen needs to do 20 hours a month of community service so I told her that if she needed a place to do her community service, that we were building a Habitat for Humanity House in Peoria beginning in January. The big deal for me is just nudging a little closer to some of the people at my hangout. I pray for them daily and ask God to reveal Himself to them. So what would church look like for Karen and Joan and Tom, Jesus and Norma (all work at my hangout)? Should I just ask them to 'come' to my organic/house church? Should I invite myself over to their place or show up at 3:30am at the store when they get there and have a prayer time? What would church look like to them? What language would God have me use to communicate His Son to them? How should the Gospel and church be contextualized for them? Here are a few points that I've thought about regarding church...this is my Re:Thinking part ;-) To be church you need... * Jesus at the center - both incarnated in the lives of believers and to be studied in the pages of the Bible. * People who are committed to one another - to practice the one anothers of the Scriptures - this takes intimate relationship, not causual relationship. Practicing Christ, who is our life together. * Being on mission together to reach the world we live in with the truth of Jesus. To make it even more concise... Jesus Family Inviting people to join the family So, not every group of 2 or 3 Christian's who get together are church. Not every worship group or evangelism group or social ministry group are church. We need all three components - Jesus, Family, Mission or to put it another way, Divine Truth, Nurturing Relationships, Apostolic Mission (DNA). How are you Re:Thinking Church?