I’m loving our time at New Wine, but as our opening night ŵhen all the lights, power, tech all went down really made me think.
As many of you know we are trying to seek where God is calling us to best impact for Christ the area he has called us too.
One thought I’ve been wondering about is “have we made Church a bit too complicated?”
I also heard some else this week talk about how hard it is “doing Church”, now apart from the dodgy theology here –you can’t “do” what you already are!- it got me thinking.
I have long time been thinking that our current view of Church is very different that found in the book of Acts.
Rowan Williams the former Archbishop said “Church is the intentional community gathered around Jesus Christ” and more recently I heard a genius quote by Paula Gooder “The plural of disciple is Church”.
Do we make Church too complicated? Do we really need all the “stuff” –sometimes car loads of it!
As I began to pursue this thought in my mind, I remembered some of my greatest corporate experiences of God, “Church”, and I realised (other than the night I re-dedicated my life to Christ), all of them were spontaneous times with other Christian friends, often on beaches, hills, friends offices’, mates’ sitting rooms, very rarely actually in a special “Holy” building.
I wonder too, whether we get to worried about DOING Church and not enough about BEING Church, ordinary Christians met together and intentionally inviting Christ by his spirit to presence himself with his people (“where two or three are gathered together there I am in the midst of them” –Jesus).
Often we feel like we are unable to Ŵorship without the screen, words and music –rather than the overflow of our hearts thankfulness and praise expressed corporately…
Or perhaps we feel like we can’t pray out loud because we haven’t been to bible college and can’t make our prayers sound “proper”, but we can share our hearts with God with others, we don’t have to be some special holy person to simply love, pray and stand alongside our brothers and sisters…
Often we think that we can only share what God is saying to us and our hearts if we have been to Bible college, utter rubbish, go for it, if you think God is saying it why not share t and bless one another…
To often we have made Church too much come and watch the paid professionals lead, and just join in the singing bit… Rather, than Church equipping you to be the Church where ever you are and whatever you do.
I love the idea of a Church to spread the DNA of Jesus as widely as possible, and equipping the saints to be stewards ushering in the Kingdoms reign and rule, where gathering together and encouraging one another is just what we do when we meet other Christians we acknowledge the presence of the Lord with us, and listen to his voice and be expectant for his encounter and blessing.
Church is not about putting on services, but intentionally meeting together expectant of the presence of God to meet with us.
Perhaps, we ought maybe to intentionally seek out times not just to be with God personally, not just be with people who don’t yet know Jesus, but also intentionally seeking out time to be with our brothers in sisters in Christ to build us up and sharpen us in our faith (after all “iron sharpen iron as one person sharpens each other”).
Wondered maybe we need to be people who get together, bless one another and seek God and his face with expectancy.
Let’s learn to make our encounters with each other more like how Church should be.
And to do this we need to put aside our differences and love one another.
Too often we often just think about our vertical relationship with God when we have a service together, and too much about our horizontal relationships with each other when we aren’t in a religious building, but perhaps we need to mix the two up a bit, more of Christ in our relationships with each other, and maybe more of our relationships with each other in our encounters with God.
Let’s learn to be simple Church organically happening intentionally when we met up with other Christians, stoking the fire in one another for the sake of the glory of Jesus where ever we are.
Let’s just do it.
let’s just be it, everywhere we go and whatever we do.