Christianity has been buried inside the walls of churches and secured with the shackles of dogmatism. Let it be liberated to come into the midst of us and teach us freedom, equality and love.--Minna Canth
For many years now I have taken to going to church less and less because I find so little there of what I hunger for. It is a sense of the presence of God that I hunger for.--Frederick Buechner
The data seems to tell us that people are interested in Jesus, but they are not interested in the church, at least not as popularly defined and practiced. We have equated spiritually as going to church and because people don't like church, they are labeled as not spiritual. What a load of crap!
So, the common cry of most churches is"ya'll come." It is about getting people to come to a location. It is about getting people to a place on a regular basis. When you step back and think about it, is it not odd that we expect spiritual transformation to happen this way? We don't see any examples of this in the New Testament.
Spiritual transformation is what happens when a person encounters the gospel. And the gospel is the story of creation being rescued from destruction. And that story involves all of us.
Because of the philosophy mentioned above, we have made "church" a show that happens once a week. It is a religious show, we watch and then we go home, having fulfilled out "commitment" for the week; having been "transformed" by our showing up.
And so, from a New Testament perspective the church is the place where Jesus is. It is not a building. It is not a weekly show. It is not a program that promises to do something for you. The church is believers trying to live out their faith.
If I seem a bit bothered, it is because I am. I am tired of the assumption being that "they" should come to "us." I want it to be "us" doing life with "them." However, I would still like less of the "us" and "them" terminology. (I am not quite sure how to transform my attitude.)
1. Have you ever had the mentality of "ya'll come?" Have you ever been asked or invited to a location?
2. How would you define church? How would you define spiritually?