My friend Lew from “The Pursuit” started a new meme with two posts called “This I Used to Believe” and “This I Now Believe“. I decided to do Lew’s meme, but discuss things that I once believed and now believe concerning the church – since this blog is primarily about the church. So, here are some things that I once believed with what I now believe:
I used to believe that preaching a 30-45 minute sermon on Sunday morning or night was the epitome of the Christian life. Now I believe that neither preaching nor listening to a sermon on Sunday morning should be the center of a Christian’s life. Instead, serving and loving others in the name of Christ is much more important. Plus, many times, a five minute personal exhortation is much more effective than a general sermon.
I used to believe that leadership was the greatest type of service. Now I believe that service is the greatest type of service. However, I do believe that we should follow those who serve. But, those who serve are not so concerned about gathering followers. Instead, they are concerned with serving.
I used to believe that the 501(c)3 organization was the church. Now I believe that the people are the church… really… no, really. The church can organize, but the organization is not the church.
I used to believe that the senior pastor (and the staff under his direction) was responsible for all teaching and discipleship. I now believe that while elders (pastors) should teach and disciple, this responsibility is for every follower of Jesus Christ, regardless of the education, gifting, training, abilities, positions, etc.
I used to believe that discipleship was a 1-2 hour per week class with a workbook to be completed by those who were very spiritual. I now believe that biblical discipleship occurs 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. We must live life with one another in order to disciple one another. This cannot happen in a classroom alone, or in a programmed event alone.
I used to believe that it was the leaders’ (elders/pastors) responsibility to “run” the church meeting so that the church benefited. I now believe that it is every believer’s responsibility to think about the others in their community, and speak/serve during the meeting in a way that encourages others towards love, good works, and maturity in Christ.
I used to believe that education and knowledge were the same as maturity. I now believe that education and knowledge often have very little to do with maturity, and can be a source of pride and immaturity.
I used to believe that if I could sit quietly during and learn from the pastor’s sermon, then I was spiritual. I now believe that if I can listen to the Holy Spirit and obey him, then I am spiritual.
If you’d like to take part in this meme, please leave a note here, or on one of Lew’s posts.