Take The Power Back, Or Build Your Own Church Day

My disclaimer for this post is that this is just what I desire for my church community, and though I think it’s well founded (hence why I’m sharing it in a post), I am not pronouncing personal judgment on the vast array of churches that don’t operate this way.

Every year or so I get on a big kick – one year it was about the idea of God’s plan for your life. If you look at my 2006 journal you’ll see this subject everywhere (note: I am not posting my journal on the internet, so the “if you’ll look” privilege is reserved for stalkers and hackers). The year after you may have seen a lot about the idea of the saving of souls from hell. Following that was me trying to figure out the Kingdom of God business.

This year’s theme is church. I’ve spent the last year evaluating what we call church – a service where the majority of the church sit and have something presented and performed in front of them. I’ve examined how churches spend their money, why almost all churches rely on weekly sermons/teachings, and all the tactics churches have adapted to try to attract new people, to name some off the top of my head.

*Note to pastors in my town: in the winter season – do your service at 7pm so I can ski all day instead of only having 3 hours on the mountain after your service ends. If your church is all about community – then realize your community is checking the snow alerts during your lecture.

Some of my rules for what I want in my church experience are as follows:

  • The pastor should be able to recognize if someone new came. I’ve been to several churches where I never met the pastor (though I can’t solely blame him, to be sure.) I want my pastor to actually know me, even just a little bit. If a pastor is best a shepherd – how can he guide his flock if he doesn’t even know which sheep are his/hers?
  • I want my church to emphasize getting to know one another, and hopefully relying on another. Otherwise I can’t even call it church – its more like a class w’ere all taking together. If I find I don’t want to talk to the people I’m in church with – then there’s a problem somewhere. 
  • I want my church to reflect my involvement, just a little bit. What I mean is, how can I consider myself apart of this community if its not even evident I’m in it? I want to be involved in a community, not entertained. Nor do I want someone guessing what “message” I need to hear each week. The church should reflect all of its people, not only its extroverted people who are willing to branch out and shape the direction of the church service. (This is why the post is called Take The Power Back.
  • I want my church to have rough people hanging out in the back. If its the type of church where the lower class, the drop outs, the alcoholics, the beggars don’t feel comfortable going, then for me, maybe I shouldn’t feel comfortable going either. Though they can make church a little more awkward, we’re better for their presence.

I have oh so much more to add, but let’s just have that be a starter. What is your list of musts? Its okay if good coffee and a band that doesn’t suck are on there, because Folders and a crappy band don’t point me to God either. Also, feel free to critique my list!

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This entry was posted in Deconstructing Big Fancy Religious Systems, The Church Moving Forward. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Take The Power Back, Or Build Your Own Church Day

  1. David says:

    – Church needs a multifaceted leadership. (Eph 4:11)
    – Church needs freedom for all to participate. (1 Cor 14)
    – Church needs to reach out to the community. (Matthew 28:19)
    – Church needs to disciple those in it. (Matthew 28:19)
    – Church needs to preach a Gospel of repentance and salvation. (Acts 14:21)
    – It all needs to be done in love. (1 Cor 13)

    – Depending on the size of the church, the pastor can’t do it all. It is essential that there greeters, connect teams or whatever to A) find out who is new, B) see if there is something they are there for – folks usually show up at church for a reason. C) find a way to engage them that leads to another get together.

    What I think you are asking for is a friend that knows your name and cares if you are there or not – and eventually who you are.

    – Relationship building comes in many ways. But the smaller the group, the better. It could be a ministry group, men’s or couples group, or even the worship team.

    – It is sad, but most churches don’t really work to hard to get folks involved. They have slots to fill, or nothing. Jesus’ ministry grew out of hearing from the Father and doing something where he was. If we train everyone to minister where they are, the church will reflect Jesus. If not, it reflects the loudest ones.

    – If a church is capable of loving, everyone will feel welcome. If not, it will become a social club for like-minded individuals.

    I find it interesting that you are trying to find significance in church by using a model that does not seem to fit you. It is hard coming out of a pastor-controlled church of any type, and learning to be coequal with others. Leadership in a healthy church should be invisible.

    Won’t it be a great day in the Kingdom when we go to church and find Jesus so visible, that everything else is invisible!

    • I never really thought of it that way – but I like what you have to say about leadership being invisible. I think we put way too much pressure on regular people to be church leaders. Hence all the fallen pastors.

      David how do we escape creating churches where only like-minded people gather? I mean I can say ‘hey I want to make a church where anyone is welcome,’ but ultimately it will probably only attract people just like me.

      • David says:

        In Acts 2, the display of God’s power, the gospel of Jesus crucified, dead and risen, repentance from sin; along with the miracle of tongues followed up with fellowship, prayer, study and communion is a pretty good model. (I outlined it in another comment on another blog). There were folks from every culture there that day. They were foreigners; each spoke a different language. I am sure some were atheists, monotheists, poly theists, and of course they were sinners.

        None were saved by convincing arguments. They were saved because they received the truth about Jesus.

        Because church has pretty much become a group of powerless philosophies and opinions, the result is what you see out there today.

        Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor 3:17

  2. Su says:

    Good thoughts. (Sorry, that’s about all the coherence I have today.)

    Wait– are you giving permission for people to stalk you? (Not that I have the tenacity for stalking; I’m just looking for clarification.)

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