Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rethinking church

We just returned from being out of town for 10 days. We are in the middle of some difficult times financially both personally and in the church I pastor. We aren't growing as fast as I would like either. So my natural tendency when something is too hard for me is usually to look for a way out of it. I know that this isn't good so I fight this inclination with prayer. But I really want to be in God's will so I have been praying about whether I should go or stay. There is a lot more to the conversation but maybe another time... At any rate I know in my heart that this is where God wants me to be. So it is time to roll up the sleeves and work harder.

At the same time I am weary of doing church the same way. There have been quite a few Sunday mornings when I have felt like the worship service was just me going through the motions of worship without really engaging God or leading the people. With the exception of the preaching I often don't enjoy church all that much. So I have begun to rethink the way we do church. How can we have an authentic gathering in the presence of God? What is it that we hope happens on a Sunday morning? There are a lot of questions. So I am going to examine the scriptures, examine what God is saying to my heart and listen to what other people have to say. Most important I want to discover what people in my community and my generation are thinking.

Yesterday I came across this article by this house church guy http://www.theooze.com/articles/article.cfm?id=1255I am interested to hear what anyone else has to say about his "imagined interview" with some dim bulb stereotype church goer. I find a lot to disagree with him. I do think that there is a place for house church type of groups. In our church they are small groups. And we will be developing these more. But the article ticked me off and then I started thinking.

I know that I am called by God to be a vocational pastor. Meaning I believe God wants me to make my living preaching and teaching the pastor. I believe this to be biblical. So this is a starting place. I know at least this much, I am to be a pastor and preaching and teaching are an important part of who I am and how I serve God. So what's next?


Rebekah said...

The guy obviously hasn't talked with very many people outside his own circles (people fedup with traditional church) and views most Christians as slow and dimwitted who just want to follow the masses. Irritates me. And for those who don't catch it, you might point out that it's a FICTIONAL interview, thus the reason for it being in the creative writing section of the ooze.

I won't even get started on why God would lay out the 5-fold ministries if he didn't intend for church to have a specific pastor. Or on the fact that church needs to be orderly (also laid out in scripture) and not everyone requesting and speaking at once.

Still shaking my head...

SmalltownPW said...

My first reaction is that the woman in the interview ( I understand she's fiction) is not doing HER part in participating in her church. Not knowing more than three people means she's not spending enough time investing in this body.

Another thought is, what about Timothy (and many others for that matter), is this guy saying he wasn't a pastor to the church at Ephesus? Seems 1st century to me.

The type of "church" he is advocating can just as easily degenerate into everyone just sharing their opinions (thus, not accomplishing the spiritual growth) as a "traditional" church can degenerate into going through the motions. Human beings can "mess up" any form of church. It's not about what form it takes.