Church can be an others-centred, empowering experience where adults are given respect and value, and empowered to teach and minister to one another in authentic ways which grow a deep spirit of community and enable each other to enter more fully into God’s story and it’s relevance for our lives. It can be a place where people willingly interact and share their gifts with each other, and fulfil Jesus’ command to “love one another”.
I know it can, because I’ve been a part of that kind of church.
The bad news is, most churches don’t even come close, despite their best intentions; despite countless hours preparing high-quality music and detailed, well-developed sermons. They don’t come close, because they are not tapping into the full potential for God’s people to minister to one another.
Jesus has given us a mandate to love one another, actively. When we change our mindset about church and see it as a place to connect deeply; to learn actively; and to seek action through love and good deeds, we will transform lives – our own as well as those around us. But we can’t do that when we meet in rows as isolated individuals. Until we engage deeply with each other, face-to-face, we miss the point of church and the community of God’s people.
Its time to reconsider the current format and think about whether it is working. Its time to look deeply at God’s concept of church and make changes to the format, to align it more closely with his design and intentions. Its time to “do church”, not just attend church.