Okay so you’ve had my rant about the need for us to be working amongst the poor, now it’s time for my thoughts on the Church.
The Believers Form a Community
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
I think we’ve lost this along the way somewhere. We’re good at using big words like “fellowship”, “discipleship”, “accountability” and we can so often have very good intentions but I think we’ve bought in to the world’s view a little too much in the Church. We’ve started to believe that bigger is better.
It’s all about multi-media presentations, loud bands with flashy music, sermons that aren’t too confrontational or challenging and getting as many people though the doors as you can, even if it means skimping on the gory details of the gospel. You can correct me if you think I’m wrong but I look at these mega-churches, which everyone seems to aspire to be like, with thousands of people attending each week, and I just don’t think it’s how it’s supposed to work. I read about churches where they’ve taken out all the crosses because they were too”religious” and go on websites where the pastor’s face is plastered all over the front page to promote his new book and it sickens me.
Where is the relational ministry that Jesus practiced?? Where are the relationships of generosity and support that Acts talks about??
I think church should be small. I think that even in a relativley small congregation of two hundred it’s easy for people to get lost: to come, sit, listen, never absorb, never take part, never really be challenged or changed. They come and they go but nothing more. Whereas if church was small – a group of ten or so people – you couldn’t escape!!
It’s not that meeting in large group doesn’t have its merits which is why i like the idea of a network of small house churches who meet together once a month or so for a “traditional”service.
I also think house churches may be able to have a greater impact on their communities, particularly if those who attend are united by a passion for a certain issue or people they want to serve. Instead of, as is the case in our church at least, the same people doing everything, all the time, small churches in a network would get everyone involved.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m passionate about the church growing!! I just think that in order to grow big, we need to grow small.
check out these folks who are living the dream: circle of hope
I think that’s quite enough thoughts for one night . . .