With the up and coming Passion4Christ Summit this fall, I have been doing a lot of thinking, reading, and studying around the theme – ‘The Body: God’s Plan for Church’. The whole idea and topic of the church conjures a load of misconceptions, disappointments, and even bitterness in the minds and hearts of believers. Say something about the church and you might get a myriad of answers, opinions, and deep-rooted feelings on the issue.
That thing you do…
Since the 18th century and the turn of the 19th – up until the last 40 to 50 years – “The Church” was something that you either “went” to mainly because culture necessitated it or out of tradition. Communities were built around “The Church” [you could even say a building in this context] and if you were not a part of the congregation then you were considered a heathen or outsider. The church was as much a part of the social structure in American Western culture as baseball. It was just something you should do.
As all traditions, the newer generation looks for something different – whether that would be in the name of being more real, exciting, or a mixture of both. Sometimes they throw off tradition all together as the 60’s bear evidence. The 70’s to 90’s saw the rise of the mega church, which offered anything and everything a family might need or want – desiring most of all to make people feel warm and welcomed. At the turn of the 20th century, this soon burned people out. While keeping some elements of the mega church, the new century gave way to culture relevance and a more “hip” approach. “Big Churches” began catering to smaller groups where relationships became more the central focus.
However, none of this brought us closer to a biblical outworking of “The Church”. We have seen whispers of it, but we have failed to delve into the scriptures to gain a biblical understanding of what it is and what it should look like.
Lets get radical
Over the course of the next few weeks, I would like for you and me to delve into the word together and discover what the scriptures mean by such intimate terms as the “the body of Christ” or “the bride of Christ”. I want to discover the lost meaning behind true fellowship and what implications the “local church” might have in regards to the gospel and the furtherance of God’s glory. I hope you join me each week. Not that I have anything profound to say but because I believe the scriptures have something to tell us that may radically change the way you look at life.