Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Re-imagining church

What do you think the church will look like in the future?

I have been asked to share a few thoughts with a group of leaders on what it could mean for us to 'Re-imagine church.' This is with particular influence of the Covid pandemic and how we have all had to do church differently. For the purpose of this blog, I am deliberately choosing to use 'church' with a small "c", as I believe the global Church will take it's lead from the grassroots movements of the local communities of faith. 

As I have start applying my mind to this tough question, my gut response is this: "Our focus in the Christian community will need to be on the small gatherings of Christ-followers, instead of on the bigger worship gatherings." And this is not a bad thing at all - it will just take a shift in our thinking and how we analyse church

Up to about 15 months ago we got drawn into the trap of thinking a church was successful based on three criteria: 

How many people do you have in your church?
How many buildings do you have - what facilities do you have?
What resources do you have? Financial and human resources were a sign of a thriving church.

Is this a fair way to decide if a church is a success or not? If we measured Jesus on these 3 criteria, how would he have scored? He would be seen as a failure, wouldn't he?

Remember that the truest definition of 'church' comes from the Greek word 'ekklesia', which means 'the called out ones' or 'an assembly.' The Church began as a group of people, called out of the world, to recognise Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and then to follow him. 

Sadly, 'Church' has come to mean a physical space and modern dictionaries include this as part of their definition of what a church is. We should remember that the global Church didn't meet in official Church buildings/Cathedrals for nearly 300 years - we managed to do the work of God and follow Jesus without gathering in massive spaces. 

So, for this reason I believe that part of Re-imagining church is going to call us back to our roots. These roots included a few of these key ingredients:

They were small in number; 
undoubtedly filled with the Spirit of God; 
loving each member extravagantly; 
showing compassion to the community;
Mission minded;
living faith and not caught up in systems.

These are just a few of my brain-storming ideas on this topic. I WOULD LOVE to hear some of your thoughts on this. Please take a minute to respond to this question: What will Church look like in the future?

1 Corinthians 12:27 - Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Romans 16:5 - Greet also the church that meets at their house.

Living in Grace

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