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Is it a big deal? March 23, 2010

Posted by clintcarter in Church, Church Planting.
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Our church (Crosstown) will be having its first public Community Gathering on Easter Sunday.  We’ll be meeting at the Midtown YMCA at 10:30 a.m.  In some ways this is a big deal, but in other ways I wonder whether it is.

It is a big deal because gathering as a group of believers to be reminded of the Gospel through the preaching of the Word, music and sacrament is life-giving.  But then we’ve been doing that on a smaller scale for a couple of months now.

It is a big deal because we want others to be exposed to our church and to the message “Be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).  But then we’ve already been doing that through personal relationships and our Bible Study.

There the danger of losing sight of the mission or replacing it with a new mission – like putting on quality services every Sunday morning.  A church service can be a vital tool in accomplishing the mission of making disciples, but it is not the mission in and of itself.

There is the danger of mistaking church for what happens on Sunday morning instead of us being the church in the normal, everyday rhythms of life.  People might begin to see Sundays as checking off their spiritual quota rather than investing themselves in a Missional Family to go on mission as God’s children.

There is the danger of parents not discipling their children and assuming that their kids time on Sundays at church is sufficient for their spiritual development.

I was encouraged by this quote from Tim Chester:

People often ask me about our meetings. ‘When do you meet? Where? What do you do when you meet together?’ But if you ask those questions then you have completely missed the point! We’re not advocating a new way of doing meetings. Actually our meetings are not good! The music is poor and the teaching is nothing you’d go out of your way to hear. What matters to us is our shared life: sharing our lives, doing ordinary life with gospel intentionality.

The church will never out perform TV shows and music videos. But there is nothing like the community life of the church. There is nowhere else where diverse people come together. There is nowhere else where broken people find a home. There is nowhere else where grace is experienced. There is nowhere else where God is present by his Spirit.

God, be gracious to us.  As we honor You each week on Sunday mornings, please remind Crosstown that the Gathering is only the tip of the iceberg.  We are not looking to fill our lives with religious activities, but authentic relationships with You and those You put in our lives.  Steer us clear of religious obligation.  May we delight in You and believe Your Good News to the point that it changes us.

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