Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Excited for Church!... Really?

So I bought this incredible book the other day! Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. The basic premise of his book is that the Christian faith (like art) is always changing and evolving. This isn't a bad thing, in fact if you build a wall of belief you will become out dated and irrelevant....(my words not his) Well anyway there will be all sorts of stuff from his book in my future blogs, because it is a great and challenging book. Anyway the thing that struck me was how he started his first church. He had worked as an intern in two churches and then at the age of 28 he and his wife went to Grand Rapids Michigan and started Mars Hill Church (after the passage in Acts where Paul claims pagan truth and claims it as God's and uses it to minister to people). Well they never put up any posters about the church, they didn't hand out flyers, and when some people came with a sign for outside, he sent it away! he idea was that if people wanted to come to church they would find it. Well on their first Sunday there were 1,000 people there! The next Sunday it had grown more, and within three years they had bought a mall because they didn't have enough room, and today there are roughly 10,000 people there on a Sunday morning. What did they do? Well they sang some songs and then Rob would speak on Leviticus for an hour. But something in all of this connected with people and they WANTED to come.

So this brings me to my question, Am I excited to come to church on Sunday? Are you? Now I know that there are lots of people in our church that are excited about God, and I am too, however the thought of coming to church for the rest of my life.... well I'm not totally thrilled at the prospect. I love the Church, and I would defend the Bride of Christ till my last breath, but something’s gotta change. Where is the excitement? Where is the passion? Can a church that has been established for 60 years and has lost some of that original fervor get it back, or do we have to leave and start new churches? That certainly seems like the easiest way to do it, but is that what God wants? Is that what is healthy? So many questions, so few answers.

1 comment:

matt said...

You know, I like this whole thoughtful discussion business that you so often put up on your blog.
That's a good question, one that I've been dealing with quite regularly as of late. The whole evolving faith deal gets my gears going. People don't want to hear the 'old' Christianity anymore. The 'fire and brimstone' method might be good for intimidation, but to bring people to the faith these days one needs to relate to the post-modern culture.
I think that the whole comfort of North American culture can get in the way of a true desire to gather to worship on a Sunday morning. You know, the "I'm a Christian, I live in faith in God. I don't NEED to attend church to be faithful," deal. Also, I think that the influences in our lives can get in the way of attending a church service. For instance, if our daily lives outside of the church building is made up of secular living, we might be ashamed to walk into the sanctuary (for those concerned with labels).
Also, pertaining to the basic question, should we start new churches: That's the problem with denominationalism! Nobody is committed to one church body anymore. If we see something in a church that we don't like, we don't stay there and work through the challenges and/or disagreements-we leave. I think that if there is any hope for the contemporary church these days we need a fresh look at 1)the Christian faith and 2)society in the eyes of God. We need not to close the doors of pre-existing churches, rather we need to set the church's biblical foundations on new soil. (As if one was literally 'moving' the church off of its ground). We need to apply the true theology (and Christology) of the Word and church doctrine and apply it in the new ways of society.
We need to re-Christianize the post-Christian world of today and make it clear that the fellowship on Sunday morning is a priviledge and a necessity of the Christian faith. The church is AWESOME! We're the FAMILY OF GOD! I think that fact alone should get our hearts pumping for more time at the alter.