My Feeble Attempt at a Blog

2007 Triangle Harvest—with Greg Laurie, Third Day, David Crowder Band, Toby Mac, Leeland, and more!


Defining "church"

This last week, I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker of mine who tried to describe to me the mentality behind the seeker-sensitive model of church that Willow Creek used. In that model, Sunday morning exists not as a place of edification, nor as a place of evanglism, but merely a bridge towards deeper Christianity. While, as he mentioned, 20,000+ people may attend an entertainment-driven "watered down" Sunday morning service, about 8,000 of them are the core members of the church, attending midweek studies and groups that serve to strengthen their faith.

Really? Is that what church is all about? Trying to trick people into becoming Christians? What about the other 12,000? Does anyone in the ministry care that those 12,000 people may just be comfortable going to church on Sunday, thereby fooling themselves into believing that they are Christians and saved when they really are not? What is more dangerous?

It's been an interesting journey; experiencing "church" on such a wide scale. I've been to visit churches of almost every type of denomination. Calvary Chapel, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Charismatic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Non-Denominational, EV Free, Friends - and each of them have sought in the past to do "church" differently. Yet more and more, churches are leaving their traditions and roots behind for the latest trend in church growth or marketing. But why does the church exist? What is the meaning of "church" as we know it, and why do we continue to meet from week to week?

Ask most pastors, and you'll probably get a different response than what a congregant would say. That's why I'm asking you. As an aspiring Pastor, I feel that sometimes I am wrong in thinking that my job is to teach the Word of God - with clarity and integrity - for the equipping of the Saints to do the work of the ministry. Therefore, that's what I look for in a church. Am I asking too much? I'm not asking to be entertained; I am asking to be taught. I am asking to be shown how to live my life in accordance with God's Truth for the sake of the Gospel. I am not asking to be told what to do; I am asking to be shown more and more the character of God in a corporate setting so that I can be better equipped and empowered to do the work that God is calling me to do.

What do you think? Why does the church exist? What is its purpose, and what do you look for when joining a church? Is it merely a place to meet friends with a common interest? Are you looking to be entertained? Have I set the standard too high, and am I asking too much?

Somebody please explain this to me, as I am beginning to feel all alone out here.