Some Churches are very good at being spiritual, they have a wonderful programmes of in-depth Bible studies, great expository preaching and prayer meetings… but less good about actually living it out in their corporate life together.
Where is the mission?
Where is the works of justice?
Where is the community engagement and power of Christian presence in the community in which God has set us?
Yet I have seen the other extreme too, where Churches have programmes total logged jammed with good and worthy (mostly) activities until you look a little closer and say:
“When do we pray together?”
“Where does our community gather around scripture?”
“Do we share communion together?”
The problem is some Churches are great at going deep but are lousy at putting it into practice, other Churches are really busy putting it into practice but lose sight of why they are there in the first place.
It is easy to fall off the tight-rope on either side of the rope, but much harder to walk the tension in deep corporate shared prayer, scripture and sacraments alongside real and authentic shared lived out faith with those God calls us to love.
Worrying some Churches and Christians have been off the tight-rope from years.
Somehow we need to hold both in tension, it is not an either or option, rather both working together seamlessly (like Ernie Wise’s hair!!).
Who we are and what we do need to be joined us, need to be authentic, and is not something we need to apologise for or be embarrassed about.
In fact I believe that in God’s economy, the more we pray and go into his word we should naturally be propelled by his Spirit into action, into love and service, deep births breadth. Conversely when we encounter the brokenness of the world that should draw us to our knees and as we pray we see God at work it reminds us of out Christian destinctiveness, and breadth draws us deeper.
When can go deeper when we have greater breadth in our outreach.
We can have greater breadth in our outreach as we go deeper with God.
These things are meant to be complimentary and yet too often as Church we have made them separate.
I long for a revolution of a Church which goes deep into the things of Christ and reaches out with great breadth to those who are on Christ’s heart, particularly the marginalised and disenfranchised and all this is seen as normative Christian behaviour.
Go deep to reach out with greater breadth.
Reach out with great breadth to be drawn deep into the things of God.