April 9, 2012

Being vs. Doing Church


The church is a by-product of Jesus becoming king . . . notthe reason for it. 

When we get caught up in church politics, church life,church decisions, church functions, church this, and church that, we missthe greater message of the gospel.  Weforget that the church is a by-product of Jesus’ ministry . . . not the reasonfor it.  Jesus’ ministry is social,communal, and justice filled.  If we wantto "be" the church . . . if we want to be the hands and feet of Christ, then we need toreplace our understanding of church "doing" with church "being."  

But how do we do this? I think to answer this question we must turn to gospels.   Itshows that Jesus came for a social revolution.   

Jesus’ states, “What you do unto the least of these, you dounto me” (Matt 25).  What you do for the localcommunity, the services you offer for the greater and common good, the love yougive to the unloved, the attention you give to those who never get it, the forgivenessyou offer to the bitter, the shelter you provide for the homeless, the food youcook for the hungry, the time you give to the imprisoned, the water you offerto the thirsty – that’s how I want you to be.

It’s not about church programs or membership.  It’s about service.  It’s about social reform.  Jesus is king because he changed our lives forthe better.  We must take this challengeand offer it to all that we meet. 

If the church is a by-product of Jesus’ ministry then wemust be people who are trained to bring hope to the hopeless, life to thelifeless, fulfillment to the empty, vindication for the conflicted, andstrength the wearied.  We are to offerfood, drink, shelter, care, fortitude, love, peace, and forgiveness to allpeople everywhere.  These are pillars ofthe Christian faith . . . not business meetings. 

Faith, hope, and love are what we have to give to the world. . . not budget reports. 

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness,and self-control are how we deliver God’s social reform to people . . . not bymonthly newsletters. 

Anything less than we might as well be a country club orjust a group rearranging furniture on the titanic.

Because the reality is . . . people are hurting.  People are depressed, overworked, underpaid,and under-appreciated.  They believe inGod but don’t have time to encounter the holy.  If we are going to be the hands and feet ofChrist then this is where we must meet them. Out there.  In the world.  On the streets.  And we must look them in the eye and say, “Ido this out of love because my father did it for me.”    

Because Jesus isn’t concerned with starting a church, butrather a revolution of spirit and goodwill.  

View the original version of this entry at jbarrettowen.blogspot.com
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