Monday, February 07, 2005

The Christ focussed Church

Today I need to do stuff but whenever I have time to Blog I am never inspired so I thought Id try this out, now I want to blog Im just going to make time in the hope that I can make it up later! Church, Church, Church, recently Ive been very pre-occupied, and I love that....Jesus loves the church but he's also calling us to have our eyes focussed on him, and not believe we can "disciple the nations" with human methodology. TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST CLICK HERE A read a great post which I think at my stage of thinking of church is more of a warning than a rebuke (not by the author but how the spirit can use these types of things) Im gonna paste it because I want to make sure you read it if your reading this post not just being lazy and not following links! so here its is from From Wayne Jacobson. It shared a couple weeks ago in Lakeland Church's adult Sunday School class. "I've been selling house church," he said shaking his head with a sigh, "instead of Jesus." Obviously he wasn't talking about 'selling' anything, but I love his discovery. Almost everywhere I go people are preoccupied with finding the right way to do church. It seems our hunger for church outstrips our hunger for Jesus. In one house church meeting a few years ago I heard a woman share a dream she had the night before about a bride endlessly primping in the mirror and admiring her own beauty. She fussed with her hair, make-up and dress making sure everything was perfect. Meanwhile she saw the groom standing at the altar checking his watch and wondering why his bride had not come. What a sad and lonely picture of too many believers in our day. We are so focused on ourselves and what the church should look like that we've forgotten our joy is in the bridegroom--Jesus himself! If there's anything I've learned over the last decade visiting expressions of the body of Christ all over the world, it is that those preoccupied with doing church rarely get to experience body life to its full, while those who are preoccupied with Jesus find church life that is vibrant and awesome.My friend Karen Neudorf talks about being a "church mechanic" where we run around and try to fix the church which is based on the premise that we are smart enough to fix everything if people would only listen. (I am guilty of this sin). We forget Matthew 16:18 and think that programs and ideas will build the church instead of Jesus and our community suffers because of it. I had a great summer this year I was involved with SOULINTHECITY which was a social action project in London, UK and it was the church in action, which was awesome but the thing that inspired me to work in the days were the glimpses of his glory in the morning, when I was sweaty and nasty on a tube I was loving it....I knew I was working for a greater purpose. I was captivated and motivated by God and thats how we need to look at church, and life in general. Not so captivated that we greedily enjoy his prescence and become merely experientialists but to glimpse his glory, to know his peace, to feel his favour, to run the race set out before us. I want to be motivated by the character and emulation of Jesus not the construction of Human Models. I do think though to balance this up, that in the seeking of Jesus we re-evaluate which is what is happening in many saints lives and in turn the life and view of the corporate....this is great, we've bought into so much methodology and world views which water down the gospel. As in thousands of sermons I want us to think about the get out of the boat story Matthew 14:28-32 (Contemporary English Version) 28Peter replied, "Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water." 29"Come on!" Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him. 30But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted. 31Right away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, "You surely don't have much faith. Why do you doubt?" 32When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down. Peter could walk as long as his eyes were fixed on his literal, and physical saviour!....wont Jesus help us walk on water as a church (in a symbolic sense) as we fix our eyes on the hope that sent us. I want to be a part of a church that Jesus is the head of, a church that is open, organic, passionate, gracefilled, and inclusive. A church which dosen't seek to have Managable Members but want to be in community with broken friends, who understand they're hopeless sinners and that we Need Jesus, but are also empowered by the fact that we are inheritants with Christ. Another thing which is important as we seek Jesus to uplifted in Church is that we are not prideful, this is partially why I am excited by the idea of small c catholism, the universal church, the body of Christ not the strucuture of men....a church which seeks to glorify the God of the bible not the standards of men. So often I hear people say "God is doing a new thing" and I think "yeah only for us" God is unchangeable and so often we think were the first generation/belivers to REALLY get a hold of the gospel, well Ive got news check out some of those hymns, some of those reflect my outpouring to God than some the "contemporary songs we sing" Im not saying we shouldnt seek to be relevant to the culture we are in, theres nothing worse than a church stuck in a decade past, but Im saying that we can learn, be inspired and even enriched by the heritage we have as the church of Jesus Christ. We'll be selling our selves ot of it big time if we purely look forward. I read a great post as ever from Arlen's blog about being post which for me means relieving oursleves from the burden of denominational labels and to just be a follower of Jesus. Anyway this has got long but the short of it is, we need to be the humble body of Christ not one thats wrapped up in its "cool" services or that our leaders have watched "Zoolander" (though it will definatly be a module if I ever run a seminary!) GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES.......4HisGlory


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