Thursday, September 2, 2010

What is Church?

A few weeks back I was praying and had a thought come to my mind. When we find a building to lease I want to put up a sign over all the outside doors. "This is not a church...just a building where the church meets.

At Wyandotte Family Church we are passionate about "being" the church and not just simply going to church. It's who we are with Christ not what we do once a week! There is a huge difference. Then I stumbled across this article by Steve Pike, the National Church Planting Director of the Assemblies of God. Check it out.

The church is not a building and it is not just a worship service…it is a called out people. Our Assemblies of God (AG) founding leaders got it right when they labeled our local congregations ‘assemblies’. In my humble opinion, that is the best English translation of the Greek word ‘ekklesia,’ which roughly means a group of citizens of a local community called out together for a purpose. Our purpose is to be with God on His Mission. His Mission involves way more than enjoying the 9:00 am contemporary service at the Hilltop Theater once a week. Being with God on His Mission means we are called to make disciples and walk together with other disciples, tangibly allowing the Gospel (The Bible) to transform us and our communities 24/7

Being on a Mission with God certainly involves worship, but the robust discipleship journey will include acts of service, ongoing personal spiritual formation, transformational connections with others and a continual posture of being sent by God to manifest His love and power. Local churches and leaders who put all of their energy and funding into one weekly service will likely end up cultivating anemic disciples who think the church only exists to make sure they are happy and well fed. That is hard to reconcile with Christ’s characterization of discipleship - “take up your cross daily and follow me.”

Today is a great day to run your ministry plan through the grid of discipleship as defined by Jesus. How will the church you lead develop a community where disciples pick up their cross daily and follow Christ? How are you helping people serve followers of Christ and those who haven't crossed the line into a relationship with Jesus yet? How are you cultivating spiritual maturity? How are you facilitating redemptive connections? How are disciples being sent? I’m pretty sure the answer will involve more than an outstanding worship service once a week.

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