To Church or Not to Church: Revisited

Jonathan Brink over on Missio Dei wrote an interesting and imaginative piece on this topic: “Jesus and Leadership Structure”. Here is an excerpt:

When Jesus said the provocative words, “Come follow me,” there must have been a chill that ran up the spine of the disciple’s backs. Imagine the moment. Ordinary people being called by an extraordinary man. This was the man who healed people, restoring their dignity and inviting them out of oppression. He touched lepers without harm, turned water into wine and caused the fish to flood the nets. To follow Him was an epic call, a moment to be part of something good. What did He see that they didn’t? His very invitation invited them into a larger mission of restoration.

But imagine for a second, after calling his disciples to follow him, he proceeded to invite them to come to the local synagogue on Sunday morning for a couple of hours and Wednesday night for another couple of hours. Forget following him around and watching Him do things. And when they got to there, he sat them down and led them through a couple of songs. Everyone sat in the same direction facing Jesus as they listened to him speak from behind a small upright box. The message was on average an hour long, tightly scripted with an introductory joke to arouse the crowd and was primarily about how to “not sin”. It usually included three points, a story from His personal life, and a summary to wrap it all up. He always finished with a challenge to his disciples to do better and closed with another song. At some point in the process he passed a large basket around expecting them to put a little something in to pay the rent and help build a larger meeting place. The reality was that those in setup were tired of unpacking and packing up each time they met in this rented building. A new, obviously larger building just made sense. As long as those in the crowd showed up, the disciples were good. Invite their friend and they were better. Serve on a committee and they were golden. Under this scenario you have to imagine the original call to “Come follow me” seems to lose its impact, doesn’t it?

If interested in the earlier discussion that we had on this subject you may see it here;

  1. #1 by titus2woman on October 12, 2007 - 10:18 am

    I do hafta check this out~you’re speaking right into my heart! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  2. #2 by Ambrosia de Milano on October 13, 2007 - 7:56 pm

    Good one C. B. When did you visit the church we attended for all of those years?

    But seriously–the desription you gave is one of the reasons why I walked away from that scene.

    Jesus was telling His disciples to prepare for the coming Kingdom of God. Churches in our era tell people how to invite people in–an okay thing–but invite them in so they can feel as lonely and left out as many in the pews?

    Ambrosia the Cynic

  3. #3 by Christian on October 13, 2007 - 11:16 pm

    Thanks, but that is not my work. It’s from Johathan Brink at Missio Dei. I don’t think he was describing your church alone.

  4. #4 by Ambrosia de Milano on October 16, 2007 - 10:43 pm

    Sappy, thy name is American Evangelicanism

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