What Kind of Church . . .

We as a church are beginning a dangerous, yet exciting journey.  It is a journey that is exploring the question, “What kind of church does God want us to be in this neighborhood?

For the past two Sunday’s I have introduced this journey while laying down the biblical warrant for this journey.  We as a church (all churches) are called by God.  We are not called by God to sit in a building and hide, we are not called by God to serve only club members; rather we are called to be the body of Christ.  A look at Jesus reveals that he was very much a part of people’s lives (not just the religious folks who showed up at the synagogue on Sunday morning). As Matthew says he lived and walked among the diseased, the broken, the hurting, the sick and demon possessed.  It is high time that the church became the true body of Christ to the world and not our own club members!

As we have begun the beginning stages of our journey living with the question, “What kind of church does God want us to be in this neighborhood?” several responses are coming to the table.  First I am seeing people say that this is a great question to ask and they are anxiously and more than willing to explore this question.  I see others sitting in the pew wondering why this young preacher is asking this question.  It’s almost as if these people are sitting with their arms crossed waiting for this series of lessons to be over so that we can get back to serving the club members!  What a shock it will be to everyone when this series never ends!

Some Implications
As I have been preparing myself spiritually, physically and mentally for this journey several implications are being realized.  First, the idea that this will translate into numerical growth is flawed.  Our goal in this journey is to serve the neighborhood in the name of Jesus and than invite people to be disciples of Jesus as we live beside them and mentor them.  Sure this means that numerical growth will be achieved, but it is not our first priority!

A second implication is that we are going to have to change.  We have developed a mentality that the minister and all church programs or activities are designed for “club members.”  As a church we have strung ourselves too thinly and so we are going to have to rethink our time, energy, programs, activities, etc.  This means we are going to be rethinking our Sunday activities, our Wednesday activities and everything else that falls in between.

 Will We Survive?
I don’t think I have realized the full implications of this journey and I don’t believe I will.  One question I keep asking myself is will the church survive this journey?  I feel that this journey has the potential to push those desiring for club member benefits to another church down the road.  I feel that this is going to push some marginal individuals and families away because they possibly don’t realize that we, the body of Christ, is called to serve the world.  Yet I also feel and believe that if this journey is not taken our community of faith is dead!  If we don’t discover the kind of church God is calling us to be in the neighborhood we will continue to serve ourselves and when our matriarchs and patriarchs of the major families in our community die off the children will be left to take the reigns, and when they die off the church will close its doors!

My Writings (Blog)
Over the next couple of months I am going to try to write weekly about my journey with the Newmarket Church of Christ and our desire to live with the question, “What kind of church does God want us to be in this neighborhood?”

Here is what you can look forward too:

  1. What I am teaching – there will be attachments of my sermons and classes.
  2. Interviewing the neighborhood
  3. Struggles along the journey
  4. Where is God in the midst of this journey?
  5. Changes we as a church are facing



Published in: on September 11, 2007 at 10:11 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Nathan, I am VERY much looking forward to your upcoming series of writings!

    I believe the question is not whether or not THE church will survive (Matt 16:18 “…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”), but rather will the Church of Christ survive? Would it be the end of the world if it didn’t? If we answer ‘yes’ to that question, perhaps it’s time to re-think our identity and purpose, hopefully found in Jesus Christ alone and not on our traditions.

    I hope that doesn’t sound like I’m HOPING the Church of Christ disappears, but like you, I am feeling that the Church must change or that may very well be our fate.

    God Bless!

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