Alan Knox, on the church
...in order for the church to become community (as described in Scripture), Jesus must not only be the most important ingredient, he must be the only community ingredient.
Almost every church that has ever existed would agree with my previous post and the point that Jesus must be the most important aspect of that church’s community. They would agree that all of the believers who are part of that church must have Jesus in common.
However, this post could cause problems. Why? Because most churches are not willing to stop at Jesus being the center of their community. Instead, they will add something else, such that they require Jesus and something else. That “something else” might be a statement of faith (creed/confession), or a certain meeting location, or a leader or group of leaders, or local church membership, or anything else around which a group of people might gather.
Guy Muse at M Blog on the church:
Our focus is usually trying to get churches to reproduce themselves. The whole CPM [Church Planting Movement] thing of 'churches planting churches that plant churches' just hasn't happened in our context.
What we are learning from the Lord is that we need to get back to basics: 'making disciples that make disciples that make disciples.' Church plants will follow if new disciples are making disciples themselves.
Christ didn't charge us with going out and starting churches. Our assigned task is to 'make disciples.' Jesus stated, "I will build my church"--not, 'WE will build his church.'
When I first began thinking about community, I did not think about it in this fashion. Instead, I started with things like “love one another”, “forgive one another”, “care for one another”, “serve one another”, “build up one another”, etc. etc. etc. These responses are very important, but I’ve since learned that they responses must follow in the correct order.
If we begin with the response (love, forgive, care, serve, etc), then we become responsible for the community, both building it and holding it together. The success or failure (or depth or superficiality) of the community depends upon our ability to properly respond to one another...
Please understand this, because it is very important. If we do not respond to one another in love, forgiveness, care, service, or edification, it is because we are not responding to Jesus Christ in a manner that is worthy of him and the gospel. Thus, if we are not living in community with one another, it is a reflection of our fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Now, the responses are extremely important, but they are secondary to the primary source and foundation of community, which as I’ve said before is Jesus Christ. If we understand that the responses are secondary, then it helps us keep Jesus Christ as our focus. “Successes” will cause use to praise Jesus, and “failures” will cause us to turn back to him and cling to him even more.
Ted Gossard on scholarly disagreement:
And let us remember, to do all things in love. Love for God in all our being and doing, and love for our neighbor as ourselves–as we carry on in God’s mission in Jesus for the world.
If only we remembered to—and did—all things in love...