Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Does God really care what our churches look like?

Had thought yesterday about emerging church. Do you think people who do not go to church really care what it looks like? Do you think God does? I'm not talking in terms of holiness and bridal cleanliness more along the lines of style and form?

I wonder if it's not that people don't like traditional church services and old styles of doing things, could it be they don't like Christians?

We don't need emerging churches we need emerging christians. In fact you bring the average punter into an emerging service with candles, a dj, a clip from the matrix and someone walking us through an elaborate non threatening dialogue around perceptions of Christ, they would walk.

Christians are more worried about what church looks like than people who aren't! Many emerging models of church still work on an attractional basis and in all honesty if you want to go down that road you'd be better of being hillsongs.

There is an old school saying that goes something like this "Christ did not command sinners to go to church, but he did command the church to go to sinners"

As long as we are continually hung up on form and style of church the devil is a happy bunny. I really don't think God cares what our churches look like as long as they reach the lost. Obviously he might get a little stressed if we started running naked church!! but you know what I mean.


Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I just submitted my Senior Thesis about 4 months ago titled Individual Revival. In it i talked about the churches need to focus on pursuit of thousands of individual revivals rather then a revival of methodology in the western church. The method of church can and should be a diverse thing, with each church expressing the values of church in the methods that they are most comfortable with. That is the one beauty in denominations and their diverse expressions.

great article

Diane said...

Check this out from http://2churchmice.wordpress.com/
(Sorry its so long. Couldn't work out how to just post the link!!)

Search for an authentic church
March 4, 2010 by 2churchmice

Jim and Casper go to Church is the title of a fascinating little book that came our way recently. Written by two friends, Jim Henderson and Matt Casper, the book documents their visits to churches of all shapes and sizes in their US homeland. Nothing surprising in that, you may think, except that Jim is a fervent Christian and Casper is an atheist. They agreed to suspend their preconceptions and to engage in honest dialogue about their experiences. Their trip included megachurches such as Saddleback and Willow Creek, as well as more ordinary traditional congregations and some emerging ones (Mars Hill, among others). Amazingly, they managed to keep their bargain, and the book is one of the most honest dialogues you could imagine. They both learn something along the way, but the most interesting thing is Casper’s take on what he experiences. At Saddleback he tries to roll the stone back from the door of the replica of Jesus’ tomb, only to discover it’s locked – and wrly expresses the hope that they will unlock it in time for Easter (yes, they really do have a life-size replica of Calvary perched on top of an artificial tomb). At Mars Hill, he finds himself somewhat repelled by Mark Driscoll’s aggressive style and is puzzled as to why ’he likes to talk about sex a lot … at least once every minute’ (p102) when he could be talking about Jesus. And at those two and all the others they visit, he wonders why there is so much emphasis on self-improvement when his reading of the Gospels suggests that disciples are supposed to care for other people, not themselves – summed up in his big unanswered questions addressed to Jim, ‘Is this what Jesus told you guys to do?’ Jim, for his part, is challenged because all the things that churches do to make themselves more attractive to outsiders actually turn Casper off – not just the kitschy environment at Saddleback, but the drumkits, noisy music and worship leaders that seem to be everywhere.

By way of a contrast, this online volume came through our computers this week. The brainchild of Australian Jay Jeffries, it is billed as a Bible for spiritual searchers, and is gradually being released on the website in installments. We both contributed to it, so we have a stake in seeing how it goes – but we can’t help wondering what Casper would make of it. Because there are a lot more like him than there are Jims in this world.

Jim and Casper go to Church is written by Jim Henderson & Matt Casper, and published by BarnaBooks: ISBN 978-1-4143-1331-2

Mark G said...

Amen to that