This is a blog in the middle of the night – in the small hours. It’s 3.14am according to the clock. I’m three quarters of the way through a week of holiday and here I am lying awake thinking about the church.
I’m not thinking about the particular church I lead, but the church in general, although it’s not unrelated, obviously.
I’m mainly thinking, yet again, of the disjoin between the life, authority and task Jesus handed to the disciples, and how that became the thing we currently call the church.
I’m thinking that it’s quite inconceivable that Jesus had anything so complicated and expensive in mind, or anything so difficult to replicate in the various places around the world that he intended it should spring up.
I’m thinking that our present day models of church not only shaped for disciple making, but certainly aren’t places that help disciples fulfil the task of making disciples.
I’m thinking that the UP (worship etc), IN (Christian community) and OUT (all aspects of mission) dimensions of church are not a reduction, but are a sharpened focus of the essentials.
I’m also thinking that most churches can identify those three elements (to some degree or the other) but not all of them focus on them in a way which releases the church for exponential growth, or in a way that helps them see that their current method or tradition might hamper Kingdom extension.
I’m thinking that our expressions of church have largely created safe Christian ghettos detached from real life, and certainly real people, and that detox from this church culture is probably one of the biggest challenges the advance of the gospel.
I’m also thinking about how this shapes the leadership task…I’ll save you my conclusions.
Now that it’s 3.31pm and I’ve pit these night thoughts on church on record, I might feel more of a challenge to come back to them with earnest intention in the light of day…and now maybe get some sleep!
O Church of Christ, arise!