Monday, July 13, 2009

In the Center of it All

Are car manufacturers supposed to build cars that fit into our lives or are we supposed to fit our lives into their cars? Are home builders such as KB or Centex supposed to build houses that fit the home buyers needs or are we supposed to shape our needs into the houses they build? Are restaurants supposed to give diners what they want or are diners just supposed to want what the restaurant it and shut up?

Does this same paradigm fit for churches? Are churches supposed to be designed to fit into our lives or are we supposed to fit our lives into the structure of the church? What is the supposed to be at the center, my needs fitting into the structure or the structure changing to meet the needs and desires of the membership and community?

Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Following God and doing church are not the same thing. Following God and conforming my life to what God wants me to do is NOT the same as going to church and having to fit into the churches' rigid structure and doing what the leadership of the church wants me to do. Or do I have that wrong?

2. If the church is the body of Christ, is the body supposed make room for me to fit in? Or am I supposed to find that a finger is missing and make myself be a finger? Who is supposed to help me decide what my part is in the church?

3. Is the Church supposed to meet the needs of the lost a dying world or is the lost and dying world supposed to only need what the church is willing to provide?

4. What is supposed to be the impetus behind what the church does? What is supposed to be at the center of it all. The world's needs? What God wants from us? The preservation of the structure and organization of the church? Doctrinal purity?

5. What would a church look like if it were centered on the teachings of Jesus, centered on meeting the needs of a lost and dying world, and centered on the God moving, helping and ministering to its members? What would have to be different?

Can you answer any of these questions?


  1. If people and churches viewed "it all" from the perspective that we are all "spiritual beings" having a "bodily experience" then every "spirit", i.e., everyone, would fit and have a welcome place "in the church",.....PROVIDED the "church" viewed everyone as the "spiritual beings" we are. Namaste.

  2. Hmm, on number one it depends on how faithful the church and its leadership are to God.

    On number 2--God provides the individuals with gifts to meet the needs of the church. I don't know about you, but I have used my gifts in different ways at different times according to the needs.

    Number 3 of course is that we meet the needs.

    number4--the impetus is God....the glory and delight of God.(I really see a need for Doctrinal Purity--ie a church that does not believe that Christ is the way is not a church. A church that doesn't understand salvation by grace can't offer it to the world.)

    Number 5--what would be different? I think we would be centered on loving God and loving others and there would be a tangible community meeting needs----we would be more fearful of God than man.....but I am not sure what would be different. How does that love look and express itself? Perhaps we would be giving more of ourselves---money, time, energy to ministering to the many needs of others.

  3. What do you think our small group/church can do to help others?

    I am anxious for us to meet again. I have missed that praise and worship time more than I ever realized I could. Next week?