If we say we need churches…What should they look like?

Last week I posed the question, “Do we need churches?”. In an overwhelming way almost all of you agreed that we did need churches. So you know, I emphatically agree. I find it interesting, but wasn’t surprised to read the very diverse reasons you mentioned to back your yes up. This week I’d like to take our last conversation a step further and ask you this, “If we say we need churches…what should they look like”.

I imagine this question will have as many diverse opinions as the last did. For certain, I am looking forward to hearing your response. This week I plan to read more than I write, however I want to start the conversation with a comment Jack made in our last post. Here it goes…clearly everything Jesus did was fueled by His love for His God, and for us. If we say that our churches are to be the physical and spiritual representation of Jesus Christ it makes sense that everything we do as a church should be motivated by the same heart attitude Jesus exemplified during His life…Love!

So, let’s keep the generalities to ourselves this week and really think in a deep and reflective way. We know love is the umbrella value a church should have, but what should Christ’s love look like in our individual lives, in our families, amongst our friends, to those who are oppressed and hurting, to those with different moral values than you have, to those whom society has outcast or idolized.

Remember, Jesus Himself told us the Great Commandments were to love God with all we are, and to love our fellow man as ourselves. It is impossible to separate our love for God from our love for people. In many ways, our love for people validates how much love we have for God.

If we say we need churches, I ask you this…what does a church that is immersed in the love of Christ say and do.

So, What do you think?

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~ by Anthony Orzo on August 6, 2009.

7 Responses to “If we say we need churches…What should they look like?”

  1. “If we say we need churches…What should they look like?”

    PROBABLY LIKE A DEAD GUY ON A CROSS

    In my opinion, this is part of the reason that more institutional forms of church are problematic. Things like paying the rent, pleasing constituents(their tithe pays your salary), and maintaining the machine get in the way of being the dead guy you’re supposed to be to the people around you.

    I’m not ideologically opposed to church as I’m sure I gave the impression in my comments a few days ago. But I do think that the shape the western (American) church predominantly takes is a roadblock to being the dead guy hanging on a cross.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that it’s kind of problematic (if not utterly impossible) to own a multi-million dollar facility and be the dead guy on a cross at the same time.

  2. Thanks for the post Jon. My next question would be, what would the dead guy on the cross want us to be, to look like, how would he call us to serve, to act. I talk to many people who really want to live like Jesus, but truly do not know how. How can we give them practical ways to be like Jesus?

  3. I’m just entering this conversation and may have missed something vital along the way, but I think that the church should represent Christ in the culture it is in; this may mean meeting in homes or in a church building or a store front but Christ always went to the people he wanted to minister to and I think we should too. I think that is why there are so many different kinds of church communities. The music, style and place of worship are different but they meet someone’s need. I’d like to hear more about the roadblocks that Jon is referring to – I think that most roadblocks to going to a church (and I’m not sure what kind of church he is referring to because there are so many different models here in North America) come from personal and internal sources. Case in point: My brother says to me all the time that he doesn’t need church to be a Christian – Theologically that could be correct, but from a community sense, he has none – no fellowship, no teaching, no correction, no one to support him in his faith. Church, in whatever it’s external form needs to provide for it’s members that sense of belonging and community. The new testament churches all had that community in common. I have seen several people who attended an Alpha course realize that they wanted that feeling of belonging and it in turn lead them to a relationship with Christ….Anyway – that is my 2-bits and it may not be what you’re really discussing but I wanted to pipe in!

  4. I think community is the key too, but I think it should go a step further. The New Testament over and over refers to believers as brothers. That means we, with Christ, are family. Christ is what makes the family divine, humanity is what makes it disfunctional. As mortal Christians, all of us have terrible weaknesses mixed with great strenth. If we are truly the body of Christ, then in the places where I am weak, a brother or sister will be strong and visa versa. We are to love God, love each other, bear one another’s burdens, and reach out in love to those outside the family. If we strive in Christ’s strength to do those things, we will begin to reflect him. To me that is what the church should look like.

  5. What should it look like. Like hands and feet. If Believer’s did a better job of working together we would find ourselbes in unity and be the example that Christ spoke of, “they will know us by our love.” That’s the body. Our leadership has the best example in the first couple chapters of Acts. The apostles set men to the work of the church so they could be ministers of the Word. Elders lead the church in action and service. Pastors rightly divide the Word and minister it to the people.
    It is an individual and corporate surrendering of ourselves to the will of God. The problem is the great lie of satan that has been accepted by so many Christians, that the church exists for them. God created the church as a vessel for His glory, not ours.

  6. Anthony – I know we’ve talked before about what in particular this church needs to be – specifically in Port Orange… and I think that with Port Orange, being so filled with people who are from “somewhere else” – a church needs to be a “family” like Sharon suggests. So many of us here can’t just drive 5 minutes down the road to re-connect with people (‘real’ family members) who mean so much, therefore, we must become each others support systems in a way that may not be quite so necessary in those “Northeastern” neighborhoods where half your block all has the same last name.

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