Friday, January 20, 2006

Asking the Wrong Questions

The question most often asked is 'what it church?'
Why do we meet?
When and where do we meet?
How do we meet?
What do we do in our gatherings?
Who leads? Who governs? Who teaches?

Where do apostles fit in church? What about prophets?
What is the role of elders in church?
And what about the role of women in church?

I have shelves of books about who does what in church. Some going in to detail about what to call people who might have more than one five-fold office (they're supposed to be called hyphenated apostles, or whatever their major gifting is).

There have been volumes written trying to define positions in church, not to mention countless conferences explaining who's who in church. It begins to sound like the classic Laurel and Hardy skit, "Who's On First?"

I think we've been majoring in the minors. We are the church. So how do we be the church in a way that impacts our world? I don't think that continually tweaking our meeting styles and positions is having any impact except to keep our focus internal rather than missional.

Why have we done this? I think it's been easier to attempt to perfect our organization than to get out and be the church. The more inward our focus has become the more we minor in the details of church life.

I would love to see us learn to be the church in the world without all of the trappings that distract us from the mission at hand.


Lily said...

Well said, Grace.

You're right when you say it's easier to focus inwardly than outwardly...because then we might have to face the "big bad world". We might have to associate with people who aren't like us, we might have to give something away or do something we don't really want to do.

I know I have struggled with this...but in my season out of the church I have found out how much fun it is to see what God is doing "outside" the walls of the church buildings. He's really much more creative than we tend to give Him credit for in our "services".

Bar Bar A said...

This is an excellent point. Thanks.

Miss-buggy said...

Good post. We are the church. We are the body. Moving out beyond the doors is an amazing thing. "It's all about You Lord. It's all about You."

grace said...

Thanks lily, well-woman, and miss-buggy.

I wish I hadn't been trained for all those years to serve the institution.

This is my soapbox these days.