Friday, September 01, 2006

What Church Should Be

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Hebrews 10:24-25

This year, and especially this summer, I have been learning a lot about the Church. That might sound strange for a girl whose family has been a part of it all her life. I've memorized verses about church. God has been really stripping away my assumptions about church recently, though. Does a church need a youth pastor? Does a church need a youth group? Does a church need a senior pastor at all? What about a building? What does the Bible say?

And that led into questions like, What is the church supposed to do? Who is the church supposed to comprise? How should we spend money? How should we collect money? What is the admonishment in Hebrews, not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, really saying?

Since my questions started pouring forth, I've also done a lot of research. This is Bible research. Check out 1 Corinthians 12-14 for one of the simplest descriptions of the church (meaning the gathering.) And I've also looked up different articles about church. A Christian Home had one (I think it got lost in computer craziness) about the real church being small groups. You find small groups all across the board of small churches, big ones, evangelistic, or discipleship-minded. There is a site called the New Testament Reformation Fellowship with some interesting arguments for home churches, which I see as still doing the small groups and crossing out the traditional Sunday morning 200+ gatherings. There is a little more detail there, though, because they aren't just suggesting a strategy for small groups; they're pointing out and trying to implement the instructions given in the New Testament.

All this to say I finally reached the same conclusion that was superficially in my mind before I started asking. The Church is about people. Build them up. Love them. Be faithful to speak the truth to them. Learn and serve at their side. The Church cannot be confined to a building. It is every Christian you know and with whom you communicate.

To conclude, having learned these things and become passionate about them, this morning I read this post from Gretchen at Young Ladies Christian Fellowship. Note that the congregation began serving them after just one week!

To God be all glory.

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