Joe (JR) (from “More than Cake“) and I have a lot in common. We’re both web developers. We’re both seminary students working on a doctorate. We’re both pastors/elders. We both care deeply about the church.
In his post, “A Positive Vision for Church,” Joe quotes Tim Chester, then makes the following statement himself:
The church must be flexible in how we participate in our communal worship, but where we must focus on our energy is on the mission of reaching the lost with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Let each church follow its own collective conscience on “how“, “when“, and “where” to worship and instead spend more time encouraging our communities to live out the “who“, “what“, and “why” of the Gospel.
I’m in complete agreement with Joe on this! As I commented on Joe’s post, this is the reason that my dissertation top is the purpose of the church gathering instead of where the church should gather.
Like Joe (and Laura who also commented on Joe’s post), I’m also very interested identity – who we are in Christ as the church. In fact, I think the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the church and the church gathering flow from the ‘who’. Similarly, if the ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘why’ are in place, then the ‘how’, ‘when’, and ‘where’ will be natural (or supernatural).
For example, the church that we meet with is currently looking for a new meeting place – a ‘where’. When the church met to talk about looking for a new space, we began by discussing ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘why’. From there, it was easy to set parameters for the ‘where’ – wherever that may be. We have decided against several wonderful looking locations because the place would contradict or hinder the ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘why’.
Do you think its important that the church understand the ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘why’ of the church? Are these more important than ‘how’, ‘when’, and ‘where’?