I recently preached a message called ‘The Church’ — essentially I spend most of my time as a pastor thinking on what church is, what I want it to be and what I want it to look like.
Theologically the scripture is pretty clear on what ‘church’ is and should be…at a very basic level church needs to be a community of people, it should celebrate communion, it should have qualified leaders in pastors, elders and lay people. It should have an expression of worship in its song and its serving. It should be a place where spiritual gifts flow and operate. A place where Christ is the head and we are the body.
Not wanting to in any way oversimplify, understate or operate outside of the theological and biblical definition of the church, allow me to submit my list of what I want church to be (I keep my blogs pretty short).
I want the church to be known for what it stands for, not what it stands against.
I want the church to stand up and stand out (not crazy, just different).
I want the church to be defined as a ‘community’, not a religious organisation.
A place where criticism comes only to give way to grace, mercy, understanding and forgiveness.
A church that preaches Christ and Him crucified.
A church that preaches the ‘good news’, not “I told you so.”
A church where people can come as they are.
A church that is not measured by its size but by its impact (Carey Nieuwhof).
Mostly though, a community who doesn’t go to church… we are the church!
Just some personal thoughts!