There are two looming questions in our home today: “What does a church look like?” and “Do we measure success by life transformation or by the quality of our weekly gatherings?”.
Thad and I both grew up in church saturated homes. We became Christians at a young age and we both felt led into vocational ministry while we were in high school. Thad has been in full time vocational ministry for 14 years and he even went to seminary for 7 years (yes, 7 years). We are good at vocational ministry.
The problem with all of this church stuff is that we don’t know how to forget it all.
We know how to make disciples. Our Life Transformation Groups are continually growing and splitting. New believers are being introduced to Jesus by people who already love them and are in relationship with them. New faces are gathering to open a Bible and read God’s word-weekly. Our team is hosting people in their homes with the intent to share about their own life transformation and invite those loved ones to study the Bible with them. Life change is happening and it is exciting. God is doing the work and He is giving us eyes to see those around us differently. Success? I think so.
We also know that Christians should gather collectively and share communion, read the Bible, and share life. But how in the world can we call what we did yesterday “church” when we were missing some of the key components of the American church experience: quality music, a children’s ministry, worship guides, a cry room, a nursing area for new moms, fresh flowers for the altar or at least some pretty candles, and a hip, cool, relevant sermon from our hip, cool, relevant Pastor Thad? WHAT??? Success? I have no idea.
This is the rub. How do we become Christ followers when we have been programed to be church goers? And what in the world is success, anyway?