What The Church Needs

In a meeting with my pastor, I heard that the congregation I belong to, PCUSA would lose a projected 100,000 members just in this year alone. So, it got me thinking what does the church need.

My initial answer was to chuck the book of Order to do away with traditional ways. I figured the reason we are bleeding members was being encumbered by the past, but trashing traditionalism is not the answer. Being postmodern and progressive could be part of the problem. I say that knowing I am both of those things and there is nothing wrong them. Yet, they can be hindrances to some. If we are too busy defending our biases and inclinations, we could be driving a wedge between believers.

Church is about community about people coming to worship God, learn how to follow Jesus, and live in the Spirit. Church isn’t about you it’s about we, it’s about holding the light for those struggling and better to see the light when darkness entangles us.

Maybe, by sharing my idea of the church I would like to pastor after seminary will help you better see what I think the church needs.

It would non-traditional, come-as-you-are, everyone-is-welcome, open doors, open arms church, a place where everyone is invited to come and see how awesome Jesus is and how we should live in response to God’s all-inclusive, all-embracing love. I know how it feels not to belong to feel like that mismatched sock, not to have place where I fit, so it would be important that everyone felt welcome. A place where non-believers and believers could gather to learn more and more about who God is and what it means to live a life with God.

I see this community housed in a coffee shop or bookstore and not a regular church building. During the week we would be open just like a normal business and conduct our bible studies out in the open, we would go out in the communities and do service projects and on Sunday be closed and hold a worship service right where during the week we did our business. Our worship would be a weeklong thing not just the service on Sunday. Also, how we behaved and interacted during the week, how we did business and presented ourselves in and to the community.

It would of course be radical, evangelical, Protestant, and mystical, a reformed and reforming Christian church.

This is a broad brushstroke of what that community would and will look like, but as I get closer and more prepared to begin to lead that community the more concrete the details will become.

I don’t go to church out of obligation, but because I want to show my love for God with all my heart, soul, and strength. I worship God not for my sake, but to affirm God is the source and ground of my being. Church is not a building, but a loving community committed to the way of Jesus, a group of people committed to being Jesus’ hands and feet in the world. The church is not made of stone and steel, but people gathered by Jesus saying yes to the Kingdom of God and no to the world of men and things.

Church is not a building you go to, but a way of being in the world but not of the world.

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