Posted by: Chris Sandel | May 12, 2009

What if the Church…

One of the blogs I check regularly is that of Adam McClane.  I’m not sure how I stumbled upon it.  It was probably through one of the other student ministry blogs I subscribe to. He offers a unique perspective on church and student ministry.  Yesterday Adam asked some interesting questions about the church, specifically the way we focus on Sunday AM worship.

  • What if Sunday morning were a celebration of community and a rallying together of community groups?
  • What if we came together purely for communion, prayers, and a simple message pushing us back to community groups for discussion and implementation?
  • What if instead of investing the time it takes to put on a worship service the church staff served the community and offered leftovers on Sunday morning?
  • What if the program of the church were just serving the community?
  • What if discipleship were of “while going” activity as Matthew 28 suggests?
  • What if going to the church were seen as a negative in light of being the church?
  • What if churches intentionally sold their properties and chose to meet in the public arena?
  • What if each community gathering became a place to serve the poor a meal?
  • What if community groups pooled their resources and invested in their own projects?

Reading his questions I was kind of intrigued.  When I read through the New Testament I certainly do see the church being all about community.  They do care deeply for reaching the lost and for serving others.  They reacted strongly against anything that would turn the church into a place that was showy or that exalted some people over others. 

As I read on, I think Adam may take it to it’s extreme as he contrasts our churches with those of the New Testament.  “In essence, a ‘successful congregation‘ (according to today’s standards) lives as a barnacle on its community.”  As I think about our church community at West Side, I don’t think we have become the type of church Adam describes, sucking resources from its community and reaching out only to members like a country club.  I do wonder though, how we can renew our commitment to being a part of the community God has placed us in?  How can we be sure a commitment to excellence never goes too far and becomes an excuse not to reach out and love like Jesus loved?

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