I’ve attended some brilliant churches in the past, filled with life, love, servanthood, and true family. I’ve served in many roles in the church, and I may do so again… But “traditional church” became a routine for me that once I noticed it, I couldn’t break through the order of service into a true connection with Christ.
The church needs to get back to its roots. I’ve written some of my thoughts down, but it was too long for one post, so here is part 1. Part 2 will come soon…
We’ve come so far from the first church. In Acts 11, the disciples and the movement of Christ-followers were scattered. Persecution was coming, and the burgeoning church was abused, sent underground, splintered, and seemingly beset on all sides. So these followers of Christ began to regroup at Antioch. They began to have a group identity, calling themselves “Christians” And they began to listen to the Holy Spirit, teach and learn, and GO. I might have that tattooed on me one day: GO. They began to be sent…
So that’s what I’m looking for in a church. A living, breathing organism, that looks more like cellular mitosis and less like Mega Mass 5000 Weight Gain. Where people are coming for re-energizing, corporate worship, and re-commissioning… but then going back out “in the field.”
For the past four years, our team has built the closest thing to an Antioch that I’ve ever seen. We call it a Leadership Academy, but it’s an Antioch in every sense of the word. We are a true community within a community–not sequestered, not out in the boonies far away from real life and real people, but in a small Spanish village. We interact and have a great reputation within the community as “normal people” — set apart, “peculiar” perhaps, but a part of the community of Mijas Spain.
We come together daily for teaching, eating, encouragement, worship, fun, prayer, exercise, planning, and preparation. We have a core group of trainers, disciplers, and facilitators, but most of our community is temporary–coming, learning, and then going. To places and cultures as different as Los Angeles, Ukraine, Texas, or Uganda. And then, when necessary, they come back, to recharge their batteries, enjoy the sunshine and cafe con leche, and to teach those who are still learning.
What else would you want in a church?
No, really… what do you think is essential in a new church today?