Why does the church exist?
It’s not to get people together for meetings. Or to keep our theology pure. Or to defend our traditions. Or to look cool and appealing to the unchurched.
But it’s easy to fall into one or more of those traps if we’re not constantly reminding ourselves what we actually do exist for.
Why The Church Is Supposed To Exist
As defined clearly by Jesus himself in both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, the church exists to love God and share his love with others.
We’re not about meetings, denominations or creeds – although all of those have had and will continue to have a place. We’re about relationships.
It is our calling and our mandate to introduce people to Jesus, connect those people with each other, then prepare them to help others meet Jesus, too.
Being The Church
Through the command to make disciples, Jesus created a self-perpetuating system to keep the church alive, vibrant and adaptable.
For 2,000 years and counting the church Jesus started has been the most relentlessly growing, most adaptable, most life-changing, most liberating organism in the history of the world.
Despite all the cries of alarm and concern, the church is not in trouble. It’s not dying. Its best days are not behind us.
The church is alive and well, with far greater days ahead than any we’ve seen come and go so far.
But the formats we’re currently using to accomplish those ends? Those are in trouble. Big trouble.
What We’re Doing Instead Of Being The Church
The way we format the church experience, the expectations we have of people when they gather as the church, the top-down hierarchical structures that are so commonplace we barely see them any more – those are going, going and soon will be gone.
And that’s okay.
Because we’re not supposed to be in the business of preserving those formats. And, in fact, to the degree that we try to preserve them we will continue to sap precious resources away from doing what we should be doing – helping people find, love and serve Jesus.
Being the church.
Why Does The Church Exist?
We need to rediscover and re-commit ourselves to being the church Jesus called us to be. Or, while we're off chasing other ideas, someone else will offer a knock-off version that feels better than what we're currently doing.
Actually, that's already happening. It's been happening for 2,000 years.
There's always some version of "almost church" that's ready to give people an “almost” version of Jesus, wrapped up in a greater sense of community than what many churches have.
The church doesn’t own a monopoly on friendship, mission or caring. We have a monopoly on only one thing. Jesus.
Christ Is In His Church
Christ is not found in our institutions, he is found in the church. In people who love Jesus, love each other and gather together regularly. That is de facto the only place to find, know and grow in Christ.
- Not in a building
- Not in a creed
- Not in a specific format
- And not alone
People loving Jesus and loving each other is how Jesus said the world would be won to him.
That’s the church.
That’s the Jesus way.
That’s who we need to be.
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