Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Local Church Pt1

Over the next few weeks I want to look at the local church. What is it, what does it look like, where do we get our guidance from in forming it and so on. All too often we look to what the world and unbelievers desire in church rather than God’s word. It is all too easy for many to simply say that scripture is not clear on what church is supposed to look like so we are left to figure it out ourselves. I personally find it hard to believe that if one truly believes in the God’s word as being the source of His guidance for us that God would leave out how the local church should look and function.

Now here, I am not talking about kinds of buildings and other particulars but instead what are the basics that a local church needs to have to be a church. When I read Barna’s Revolution his diagnosis was that if the church does not change to meet the desires of the so called revolutionaries it would die. Well for one the church, both universal and local will not die because we do not do as the world desires. Matt 16:18 speaks of this and while one may surmise that this verse is speaking of the universal church it is speaking of a gathering of people with a common goal, or purpose, as the word ekklesia means. So while it may speak of the universal church it can be applied to the local body of believers that make up the universal church.

All too often the local church is designed around a consumer mentality rather than a communer mentality. When we focus our ministries on needs rather than God we get ourselves in trouble. This is not to say that ministries are not important but what I am saying is that often we do not ask ourselves if what we are doing is first going to glorify God or satiate human desires. Is what we are going to do leading to more communing or more consuming? Is what we do for ministry dividing the family that God put together or as is all too often the case separating it up. I realize that often what we do is done with good intentions but good intentions are not enough if the end result is not pleasing to God.

So, again, over the next few weeks I will try and see what the local church is too look like. We do need to raise questions, look at history but in the end it is God’s word that needs to define our worship and the local church is the place believers gather to worship as a corporate group.

1 comment:

RevyRev said...

I look forward to it.