Thursday, July 07, 2005

What If?

What if a group of people taught one another how to be serious disciples (apprentices) of Jesus, as they represented Him to those around us (2 Corinthians 5:20).

What if making "disciples" (as Jesus called it in Matthew 28:19) was the primary ultimate goal of this group of people in all they did?

What if a group of people taught one another how to be serious students of the Scriptures, not content knowing the Bible only at a surface or shallow level, but to desire a deep understanding of the entire Bible?

What if a group of people had a leadership that was committed to seeing that Scripture is taught deeply and a goal of seeing the group of people were becoming "self-feeders" of the Scriptures (Hebrews 5:11-14)?

What if those who are part of this group of people committed to serve each other so that they experienced true community (Acts 2:42-47; John 13:34-35)?

What if this group of people was passionate about helping other people discover how God desires each to have a very valuable part of being in the "body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:27)?

What if this group of people truly believed that the "family" should be highly valued, taught about and supported with the various ministries developed (marriage, family, children etc.), as the family is critical in the shaping of our society and culture (Matthew 19:4-6, Deuteronomy 6:4-9)?

What if those in this group of people learned to have their hearts break for those who have not yet experienced the love and grace of God and joy of knowing and following Jesus (2 Peter 3:9)?

What if this group of people attempted to learn to see people and love people as Jesus did (Matthew 9:35-38)?

What if those in the group had a heart for being involved in their local city or town and in activities that express the love of God outside of the group's own internal activities and events. What if this group truly believed that they must be a local community-a very focused and involved group that engaged their neighbors?

What if this group decided that they will not measure success by group attendance, their degree of professionalism or production related factors, but instead will measure what they do by how they constantly seek to increase the degree of our love for God and for people (Matthew 22:37-39)?

That group would be the church.

Not the "church" as in something you go to, but something you are.

And I would want to be a part.


Scott Hall said...

Sign me up. I am all over that.

Casey "C.P." McCollum said...

Amen Joel. Amen.
Hey are you and Kim still thinking/praying about a churh plant in the future? just curious.
we miss you guys.

Matt said...

I'm thinking about everything that comes with the traditional trappings of "churchy" stuff, and how its missing from your list: good preaching, enjoyable bible classes, fun youth activities, committee after committee to plan stuff. Budgets and "ministries".

Not that any of that stuff is bad, but your post shows how far our concept of "church" has gotten from ideas like discipleship and Kingdom.

I'm fascinated right now with understanding the difference between things that are "churchy" (that is, our notion of what "church" is) and Kingdom. If you've got more to say on the subject, I'd love to hear it.

Steve Jr. said...

amen, dude. that's the idea.

Keith Brenton said...

Joel, I think you "springboarded" me with this post ... then I went and wrote this one.