Sunday, October 22, 2006

Church meanderings

Catching up on posts from this week, I noticed a good one over at House Church Blog on the basics of house church. Here is a sample:

* The "house church movement" is not about getting the church out of bigger buildings and into smaller, homier, ones. I would suggest that it is about seeing the church become a movement again as intended. In other words, the church is God's people lit up by the fire of the Holy Spirit. Our sense of this, from the New Testament, is that God intended his church, his people, to truly be a wildfire taking his life, power, and transformation from one person to the next until the world is engulfed with him. God was and is on the move through his people. A movement that is led by the Spirit of God (the church) can not be contained nor controlled without it losing its very essence. In that sense, he never intended for us to build fireplaces.

* Over the years we have, with very good intentions, become focused on building fireplaces. Much good has come from this. However, we have often found ourselves so busy with housing the fire that we have lost the intensity and fervor that fuels a movement. It is this movement that God has always been after and that he is restoring.

* Simplifying church back to its basics makes room for us to re-align our time and energy with God's purposes to fuel movements of his Holy Spirit everywhere. Just because we have simplified church does not mean this will happen. But it does provide the opportunity for us to put the priority focus back on those things that can facilitate that movement.

And then, there was an excellent post over at House Church Chronicles about being fed

Babies or the sick get fed. Healthy mature adults feed themselves. The church of our culture has done great disservice to the body of Christ by normalizing "spoon feeding" to those who should be feeding themselves…

One "bread" of our church culture is entertainment. Roman culture taught us to appreciate and be entertained by great oration. The resulting monologue has hijacked Christianity and formed how we "do church". Conversely, Hebrew and Greek cultures used dialogue for education. A good teacher in those cultures was one who could moderate a discussion and draw out the conversation of the participants. Then there is music. Our Christian culture is addicted to music. I am a musician and enjoy music from both sides of the guitar. The entertainment factor has dictated that only the big flashy shows will survive. After one gathering with His disciples we learn this of Jesus - "and after singing a hymn, they went out". No worship team, no rock-n-roll band, no expensive sound systems... Jesus could not compete in today's music market.

Another "bread" of our church culture is instant gratification. It is much easier to run by McDonald's and pick up fast food than it is to prepare a meal…

What more can I say?

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