3 thoughts on “Living the Church vs. Attending the Church

  • May 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm
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    Here in lies the crux of the Attractional vs. Missional church debates.

    Most main stream Christian churches today are of the attractional model. They are patterned on having extensive programs to attract as many people as possible.

    The missional church or organic church is much more outwardly focused. They are patterned on going out to the people.

    So that brings me to Living vs. Attending.

    Attractional churches tend to have people attend. To go and watch the show. To listen to music and a sermon then go home.

    The missional church tends to have people being the church daily. To be part of a missional church, each is responsible and accountable for living their faith in order to train disciples of Christ. Each member is expected to emulate Christ in the World (in not of!)

    So which is more biblical? Culture leans towards the attractional model. Acts 2 and 1 Cor 14 leans more towards the missional model.

    If the clash comes down to culture vs. Biblical examples, I’m going to go with the model we have in Scripture.

  • August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am
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    Imagine if you will, two Christian brothers walking into a smoke filled bar. They have been fervently praying for God’s direction and guidance and are led here. They sit at the bar and order a beer. While sipping their beer, they begin talking with some of the local patrons – all the while praying for God to highlight the man of peace. After a few idle conversations, a man of peace presents himself. The two brothers and the man have a fascinating conversation about the desire to see God’s power transform the neighborhood. The man of peace scoffs, but says they are welcome to meet at his house next Friday night.

    Next Friday night comes and the two brothers visit the man’s house. Along with the man is his wife, 2 kids, a cousin, and 2 friends. The conversation starts of with one of the brothers praying for illumination and wisdom – and peace. Then they talk, eventually the Bible comes up and the brothers start sharing Scriptures. The man of peace and his cousin come to Christ that night. They all agree to meet the next week.

    During the week, the brothers pray for the harvest.

    The next Friday, 18 people are crammed in a 3-room apartment. 6 people come to Christ that evening – which the brothers didn’t talk very much because the man of peace and his cousin shared what Jesus did for them!

    The next week, they get a call that the cousin was starting a church in his apartment on Thursday night. 15 people show up, 7 receive Christ. On Friday, 17 people show up and 2 come to Christ, including the man of peace’s wife and son.

    A local gang leader is there and asks about Jesus. The next week he shows up with 5 of his thugs – 3 of them, including the leader accept Christ.

    Is this a fantasy? Can this happen?!?!?! YES. This is what can happen if we follow the advice of Matthew 10 and Luke 10. Churches spontaneously start exploding on the map – just as they did in Paul’s day! This is what is happening in China and India, Ukraine and Croatia. It can happen here in the USA as well. Do we have enough FAITH to believe it???

  • October 1, 2009 at 7:51 am
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    Easier Said than Done.

    So I have been looking around and have noticed that a lot of people call themselves Christian but don’t speak or act like Jesus. If we are to be truly “Christian” (Apprentices to Jesus) we better start acting the part.

    Jesus says that we must come to Him as little children! We MUST be vulnerable, weak and needy like a children (Matt 18: 2-4).

    There’s the rub. Most people don’t want to admit that they are any of these things. They spend most of the time in denial (it was a wonderful place). It was definitely much easier to live there than in a perpetual state of weakness and vulnerability.

    Boy was I mistaken.

    The only way to truly live as an apprentice is to do it from a constant state of utter dependency on the Trinity. There is no middle ground; you are in or out.

    The saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” takes on a whole new meaning.

    If you want people to stab you in the back, treat you like garbage, walk on by when you smell, are hungry and homeless then by all means keep it up,

    Heaven forbid we should come out of the gate all vulnerable and weak. We started out in this world that way. We were constantly dependent on our parents for our very existence. So what changed? We started growing up and realized that we didn’t always think that what our parents said was best for us. We new better, we were smarter, we deserved this wonderful gift called independence. The problem is is that we also became self-sufficent. We no longer needed anyone else, we could do everything without help. We could provide for our families and everything was good. Or was it? Now we show up in church on Sundays with a very shiny plastic shell and reduce worship to a few songs a sermon and a doughnut afterward. Then we feel pretty good and come Monday morning we are right back at it again.

    Has the worshiping of God been reduced to a Sunday morning ritual? Do we get a “get out of hell free card” because we go to church on Sunday?? Do we show our weakness and humanness only behind closed doors?

    What if we showed our neediness and brokenness to those at church? What if we showed those traits to the world.

    What if we were childlike? Completely dependent on Jesus and completely transparent to the world?? No agendas except those set by Him. Everybody’s well being set above our own. 100% authentic in every word and action. Clothed in righteousness, armed with the truth and justified by Him.

    What then??

    There would be no stopping us. There would be no more hunger, there would be no more pain and suffering. People would see us and want to be like Jesus themselves. With a heart broken by the continual acts of violence, the human trafficking, abuse, neglect and general state of uncaring in the world today I say we are called to do more. We are called to FOLLOW HIM. We are called to DIE for HIM daily. We are called to be His hands and feet. We are called to turn the other cheek. We are called to LOVE our enemies as ourselves.

    We are called to be weak and humble and needy and vulnerable.

    Why????

    Because it is when we are weak and needy and vulnerable that Jesus will make us the strongest. So I say OUR power comes from supplication.

    Bow down before Him with fear and trembling and see what He does.

    A Christians’ position of ultimate power comes from his ultimate vulnerability and brokenness.

    We can live in the Kingdom Now. We are called to live there. That is what Jesus is talking about in Matthew. We can perpetually be Alive in Christ.

    And it will be Glorious…

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