Thursday, May 14, 2009

Church is a Who not a What*

" The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands...Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" Acts 17:24 & 1 Cor. 3:16 Church is not something you attend it is who you are as a Christ follower. That understanding of church changes everything. Church is not a service or a sermon or a hot worship band or a program. Church is the people who are called by God where Jesus' presence is their center point. They are a family who takes God's message and mission of redeeming His creation to the world we live in. Even though many who are part of our church community know church is not a building or a service, some of us (me included) often fall back into default settings when we think about church. Here are some thoughts about church that I would like you to [re]consider...
  • Instead of expecting to get something, expect to give something (1 Cor. 14:26).
  • Plan on staying with your church (spiritual family) forever, only leave when Jesus directs you to leave, not when things get hard.
  • (Phil 4:2-3). Leaving will become rare if this is practiced.
  • Realize that wherever you go, you take the church with you (1 Cor. 3:16) so enjoy church all day, everyday!
  • The church is the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23) and Jesus is the head of His body (Eph. 4:15) so spend time listening to the head of the church. You'll find He is a good leader!
  • Because you are the church, you can worship anywhere (John 4:20-24).
  • You are responsible to live out your faith in consistent ways (Eph. 4:1).
  • Don't go to church to be 'fed', feed yourself throughout the week (Col. 3:16).
  • Church is not a building made with human hands (Acts 17:24) but is a temple made of flesh (1 Cor. 3:16).
  • The church is not your pastor's or shepherd's or bishop's, it is Jesus' church. We should only refer to church as Jesus' church (Matt. 16:18).
You never go to church, you simply are the church! Realize that because you are the church, the spiritual family (church) that you are part of will only be as strong as you are. What do you think? *Thanks to Reggie McNeal who I first heard coin this kind of lingo at the Organic Church Conference in February, 2009.

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