Three things our congregation needs

herding-cats-550x550I’m not sure who automatically gets this blog. Some of you may live quite a distance from our congregation while others are nearby. Some are members of the church and others are not. Some are actively engaged in our congregation and others show up once in awhile.

Whatever your distance or relationship with our congregation or the church in general, I have a question for you: “What is the purpose of the church in your life?”

I’ve been thinking about that question this past week, especially as our congregation prepares to host a discipleship workshop on October 17 (10 am-4:30 pm).

Now when thinking about discipleship we may automatically view it from the perspective of me as an individual. But is discipleship an individual venture?

Sometimes I experience the church like a bunch of cats who show up because they smell fish, but then once they’ve eaten their fill they wander off to do their own thing. That’s what the little picture above portrays and sometimes that’s also0 the view of discipleship – it’s just about me. But is that what God’s Word says the church is to be like?

In the Old Testament God gathered individuals together to become the people of Israel. Like Israel, the church was also established by God as Christ gathered disciples together and later on as the Holy Spirit brought people together to learn, love and serve. Notice I’ve used that word “together” many times. The church is people called and gathered together by God to learn, love and serve.

The church today is very different from what the Bible describes. I believe the individualism of our society and even parts of our church has over many years shaped a church of cats. We come together when WE want to come and then just as quickly rush out the door to do our own thing. I know that’s not how everyone is, but I would say that the cats rule in this case.

There are three things I believe we need as the church today to change this pattern, to perhaps become more dog-like (packs).

  • We need to learn together what we believe, teach and confess.
  • We need to learn together how to love one another.
  • We need to learn together how to love and serve others.

This change from being individuals to being a community or pack is only possible as God’s Spirit works among us through His Word. Through hearing the Word proclaimed in worship and studying it together in small groups God will teach us the foundations of being a Christ-centered community. By coming together, especially in small groups God can teach us how to love one another – to be a Christ community. But all this huddling and cuddling has a purpose. God wants to send us out together into the world around us to love and serve the cats who perhaps need to become a little more like dogs.

So what are your thoughts on the church today? Leave a comment below.

– Pastor Tim