the weblog of Alan Knox

Replay: I used to believe… Now I believe…

Posted by on Apr 30, 2011 in blog links, discipleship | 3 comments

Replay: I used to believe… Now I believe…

Two years ago, after being inspired by a friend’s post, I wrote a post called “I used to believe… Now I believe…” In this post, I laid out some of the ways that I my beliefs about the church had changed over the last few years. Feel free to present how your views have changed (or not changed) in the comments.

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I used to believe… Now I believe…

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.


3 Comments

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  1. 5-1-2011

    Hi Alan,

    AMEN!!to what you said up till the I am spiritual when… part.

    I think that I am spiritual not by anything that I do or don’t do but because JC lives in me. Any spirituality that is shown forth from my walk in this world IS Him peaking/shinning out of me.

    Then the “walk” becomes learning to know Him who dwells in me & He will do the doing that needs doing thru me. The walk is a lot easier when I’m not trying to do something to BE spiritual but instead I’m concentrating on knowing Him who has chosen to dwell in me.

    IN CHRIST,
    David H. Lucas

  2. 5-1-2011

    David,

    You said, “I think that I am spiritual not by anything that I do or don’t do but because JC lives in me. Any spirituality that is shown forth from my walk in this world IS Him peaking/shinning out of me.” I agree completely!

    -Alan

  3. 5-2-2011

    Me thinks someone climbed into my head and heart and observed all that is going on and then recorded it for others to read. :) All I can say is DITTO. And I literally mean ditto on all points. I’m finding a great deal of relief to find out that I’m not actually the only fish “swimming upstream” even though I might be the only one at my church. :) Thanks Alan for your posts, I am encouraged greatly by them.