What if a church…

15 01 2009

Just some thoughts I had sitting at a coffee shop the other day.  I actually had to use a pen and write it on paper at that point (what a concept!) because I didn’t have my computer with me.  Nothing new or ground breaking…

What if a church was made up of Christians and non-Christians?  A group of people living life together.  Trying to figure out how to live life… and how to live it together.  A group of people that have this sense that there is something more to life than themselves.  That there is some purpose/meaning… or at least that there should be some purpose/meaning… to their lives.

What if church wasn’t first and foremost about making people Christians.  I think that’s why I have negative feelings toward concepts like “conversion” and “evangelism.”  For me, they carry this negative idea of manipulation… or superiority… or something.  It’s like we’re telling people, “Hey, be like me… believe these things… don’t believe those things… do these things… don’t do those things…”

In reality that’s not what evangelism is – or at least not what it is suppose to be.  It’s suppose to be this idea of, “hey, check out this thing I discovered/found!”  …this sharing of something good and beautiful.  Like when you find a new restaurant that has amazing food at a really low price.  …or when you discover an awe-inspiring spot in nature – and you just have to tell all your friends about it, because it’s too good to keep a secret.  I think that’s what evangelism is suppose to be… but I still have this negative view of it.  And so I assume many people do too.

What if church was a place where people could belong even if they didn’t believe?  A place that was safe to express your doubts and beliefs and disbeliefs.  Not that Christ is taken out of the church, because Christ must be at the center.  But that there is room in the church for those that don’t believe.

Just some thoughts.  What are your thoughts and questions?

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2 responses

17 01 2009
jasoncomstock

Tim,

As always, an amazing blog! I feel if there was a church with both believers and non believers then that church would be a church that is seen through both eyes of Christ. Ever since I have started to believe since high school, I felt that God wanted everyone to feel at home, or who they are in a church. And since most/ all churches have all believers in them, then that is a church that is seen through one eye of Christ. If that makes sense?! I just feel that a church should allow anyone to be a part of it, believing or non-believing.

24 01 2009
mlbeck

This church is possible, Tim. Don’t lose sight of it!

I imagine this church to be a conversation about good news. One person shares some pain, an injustice, or a fear, and another responds, in words and actions, with some life renewing good news. “Your car is broken down? No worries, you can borrow ours.” Or, “I’m sorry that happened to you. You don’t deserve that. God wants to put you back together. Let me be your brother (let me be your sister), we’ll make it through.” Or, “Did you see that sun rise? I mean, did you really see it?!”

In this church, listening and proclaiming good news permeates everything-music, teaching, prayer, fellowship, meals, housing.

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