Tag Archives: Church
Just something to think about….
Those who have a heart for morality, believe God’s heart centers on morality.
Those who have a heart for orphans, believer that God’s heart centers on orphans.
Those who have a heart for America, believe that God’s heart centers on America.
Those who have a heart for prayer, believer that God’s heart centers on prayer.
Those who have a heart for the church, believe that God’s heart centers on the church.
Those who have a heart for missions, believe that God’s heart centers is for missions.
Those who have a heart for individuals, believe that God’s heart centers on the individual.
Those who have a heart for families, believe that God’s heart centers on families.
Those who have a heart for the Bible, believe that God’s heart centers on the Bible.
And on it goes…
“The primary purpose of the church is to give a ravishing vision of who Jesus Christ is.”
A couple years ago, when I was serving at Asbury United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Church ran a “Rethink Church” campaign. I don’t know how much rethinking of the church the UMC actually did (can some of you speak to that?) but that’s really what we all need to be doing. Whether we’re coming at it from an emerging church perspective, missional perspective, mainline perspective…we all need to be rethinking church: how we worship, how we run committee meetings, how we do mission work, how we offer pastoral care, how we think about leadership…there is so much we need to rethink.
The question is: are we willing to do so? Are we willing to put aside our own opinions and preferences for something greater? For being able to open the circle wider to allow even more participation by folks not currently a part of our communities? Are we willing to be more concerned about worship being something connects with younger people than whether or not we get to hear our favorite hymns on an organ that Sunday? I don’t know the answers – but if the church truly does think young people should be more committed to the church, we certainly need to be able to ask the questions and have the conversation.
Terry Storch gave a talk at MinistryCOM 2007 entitled “Communication Revolution.” In this talk he highlights how our culture is slamming into the traditional ideas of the way churches operate. He list the top five impact points as:
1) One Way Communication vs. Participatory Conversation – No longer is the expectation that you will tell me what I need to know. I want to be part of discovering what I need to know.
2) Service Times vs. On-Demand Content – Our world will not wait for us. They want the content when they want it. We need to provide access so that can interact with content at point-of-need.
3) Walls vs. People – We have tended to think about church inside the building. We need to move the practice of church out into the community.
4) Going to Communities vs.Being in Communities – The way we think about missions and outreach needs change. We need to change from going to communities to becoming involved in the communities we want to reach with the Gospel.
5) Asking People to Just Invite One vs. The Power of One Inviting Everyone – Addition through just bringing one friend is not overcoming the attrition churches are experiencing. We live in age when one person can invite so many more to experience Christ. We need to find and equip those people.
While God’s words are eternal and unchanging the tools we use to access those words do change, and those changes in technology also bring subtle changes to the practice of worship. When we fail to recognize the impact of such technological change, we run the risk of allowing our tools to dictate our methods. Technology should not dictate our values or our methods. Rather, we must use technology out of our convictions and values.
The Incarnation lies at the heart of the early church’s wrestling over what it meant to be the church in specific cultures. The concrete, material revelation of God in Jesus Christ was the basis of their thinking and practice. This is why the character and identity of those leading the church were articulated in terms of participation in God. But this participation was not about some private, otherworldly, spiritual practices having nothing to do with the public, political, social life of a people. it was in fact the very opposite. Participation in God meant forming a community of God’s people whose lives often challenged the political and social institutions of their day.
How do we best fulfill God’s command to “go and make disciples”? Thought provoking video:
If video player does not show, access video here.
The communal character of the sacrament means that the communion is with each other as well as with God. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus bids us be reconciled with each other before we bring our gifts to the altar (5:23)….What role then to the gifts of the bread and wine have in all this? They are surely of great importance, but not in a manner that is detachable from the totality of what is going on. It seems to me of great significance that the bread and wine are not only gifts of created nature in that they derive from wheat and grapes, but are also the products of human labor. In liturgical words that are often used at the Offertory, the gifts are ‘what earth has given and human hands have made.’ They represent the drawing together, in the action of the Eucharist, of the fruits of nature and the fruits of human work and skill in the offering of creation.
Pastors were never very important to me. I liked them. They were nice, and they told great stories, but they never seemed to be very serious about God, and I was. They just seemed peripheral to ordinary life, whereas in my dad’s butcher shop, things were very serious. My father took everybody seriously and treated them with dignity. I got the image very early on that he was a priest…Everyone was treated the same, there was no discrimination with anybody.