Friday, June 22, 2012

The Church Doesn't Exist For Me... or You.

I am here for the church.

The church here is for the world.

Simple enough, right?

Start with the statement: The church is here for the world.

Church: The Light of the World
  • Jesus said he came to call the righteous not the sinner. He lived to heal the sick, not the well.
  • We (followers of Jesus) are to be a light to the world.
  • We are to live in such a unique way that we season (make better) the world around us.
  • We are to be living IN the world (contrast with separating from the world.) so that we can bring the world to God.
  • We are to make disciples of the whole earth.

SUMMARY: The church as the body of Christ is God's gift to the world. We are the means by which God's grace is made known to those who are lost. (WE are the gift! The gift is not TO us)

My starting point (and the building block for the previous concept) is: "I am here for the church".
  • When I accepted Christ, I was baptized into the body of Christ.
  • Oneness is the operative concept in the church.
  • True love for my brothers is shown when I give up my own life for theirs.
  • I am to consider the needs of my brothers and sisters ahead of my own.
  • I have a unique role to fill in the church.
  • The growth and maturity of the church is my responsibility.
  • Everyone loses when I don't carry my weight.

SUMMARY: Every Christ-follower is a gift given to the church to enable the church to fulfill its mission.

If truly embraced, these ideas could change so much about how we "do"and "think" about church. Unfortunately, they lie in sharp contrast to the approach most (self often included) take to church. We too often believe:

The world is for the church... and the church is for me.

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