Being Church through Jesus Centred Living

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I have been preaching recently about the nature of church, because I think we get confused about what church actually is, or more importantly maybe, confused about what it isn’t.

Church is not a building, it is not a Sunday morning service, and it is certainly not an exclusive members only club.  More importantly, it is not irrelevant and unnecessary, and it is absolutely not about you and me.

Church is about Jesus.

It is where he abides with us, in the midst of his people, present with us through the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit.  He is away from us, sat at the right hand of the Father and yet is near to us, and where he is, with us, that is church.

Why do we always feel the need to make it more complicated than that?

As far as I am concerned, whenever there are two or more people committed to one another in order to be obedient to the commands of Jesus as outlined in the Bible – meeting together regularly to worship and value him, seeking the Word together, being disciples and making disciples, baptising and encouraging others to follow him and his ways – then they are being church.

Which means that as a Jesus follower, whenever you meet with somebody else, you can be church!

And I think it is essential that we all start to see church in this way in order to break the consumer culture and sacred-secular duality that is so prevalent amongst contemporary believers.  I can’t help but feel that the future of church, certainly here in the rural parts of the UK, has to be more about building networks than maintaining traditions, even if those traditions are good and of value.

Hold on, I hear you say, what about Elders and Deacons, heresy and authority, meetings and programmes?  Essential issues that need to be considered in detail.  But fundamentally, if Jesus isn’t at the centre of all that we are doing then we are not being church – everything else is superfluous if we don’t get this right in the first place.

What do you think?

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