Thursday, January 31, 2008

Define "Church"

Okay – here’s a question for all of you – what’s “church”?

Over the past year my definition of church has changed significantly. I think most people’s definition of church would include some or all of the following elements:

1) A building where people meet;
2) There must be a decent number of people;
3) Some music, a sermon and a passing of the plate.

Honestly, I don’t think any of these things are bad, but I also don’t think any of these are “church.” I believe all you need for church is two or three people and Jesus. Isn’t that what Jesus said in Matthew 18:20?

The church is believers (those who believe Jesus came to restore our relationship with God) gathered together. No mention of buildings, crowds, music, sermons or offerings. Again, none of these things are bad – UNLESS they get in the way of people helping people and people spending time with Jesus together.

In fact, Jesus told the church leaders they needed to figure out what God meant when He said, “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13 & 12:7). Mercy is what we show towards each other; Sacrifice is a ritual we perform. Another time Jesus taught that if we are bringing our offering to God and remember that someone has something against us we are to leave the offering and go work thing out with the other person. Then come back and worship God (Matthew 5:23-24).

It appears God values relationships over rituals.

Okay, that’s enough stirring of the pot for one day. Let me know what you think.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Love to hear your thoughts

I love to get your responses and read your thoughts. You can post comments by clicking the word "Comment" in the bottom border of each post. You do not have to have a blogger account to post - you can just click the "Anonymous" choice. Of course, you can always put your name in your post or stay completely anonymous - your choice!

I do read all comments posted and they will not appear on the blog until I have read them.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Too many stories?

I’m filtering through the seemingly endless e-mails I get from all of the spiritual leadership gurus. These are the people who have “succeeded” in church-world and are willing to share their “how I did it” stories so we can all attempt to copy them.

Of course, most of the podcasts, articles, blogs, etc. start with the typical “Don’t copy us” statement. So, why do we copy them? And why print or post their stories? I think we all like to hear the “good news” stories regarding churches and ministries and that’s great. But, really, why do we chase these “formulas”?

Here’s my take (and why I’ve done it so long myself) – our personal connection with God is weak (I was going to say “sucks” but my wife hates that word). Yet, it’s true. We’re living based on someone else’s connection with God (at least we assume they’re connected).

Here’s an idea – read the stories for a “pump me up” and then get into the Bible and find a quiet place to ask God, “Father, what do You want to do that You can only do through me?” If we believe God has uniquely created each of us, then we must believe He has a unique plan tailored specifically for us.

I gotta go – I’ve gotta ask God something! :-)


Monday, January 28, 2008

Too long

Wow, almost two months since my last post - I'm such a slacker!

It's been a busy two months - holidays, a new seminar class started Jan. 2nd, and still working on starting a church (oh, yeah, and it's tax season). Some cool news on the church-front - we will begin having meetings in our home this coming Sunday.

We did have some meetings at the Park this past summer (and may do that again this coming summer), but it's been a while since we've had a "public" gathering. So, I'm looking forward to spending time with these guys again this coming weekend.

We've also started some new ideas - we're calling it Project Relevant and I'll be posting more on this in the near future. You can also check it out (though there's not much there yet) at