Have you ever sat in church and wondered "Huh...Is this really it? Is this what God had in mind for his people?"
We have. Lots of times. Which started us thinking. What IS church? If all we had was the Bible and nothing else, no centuries old models or traditions, is the modern church model really what we would come up with?
Over and over, our answer has consistently been "No, it wouldn't."
Not that today's church model is inherently bad. It isn't. But what we have discovered is that it also doesn't lead today's Christian into the fullness of who they really are.
And just who are Christians? Well as it turns out, Christians or Christ-Followers are the Church.
Church isn't a place, or event, or service. It's every Christ-Follower. And really, if you are a Christ-Follower then it is literally impossible for you to "go to church." You ARE the "Church."
The modern church model does not lend itself to this concept easily. If you are a Christ-Follower you probably understand that "church is the people not the building." But take a hard look at the language you probably use:
"I'm going to church."
"Where do you go to church?"
"What time does church start?"
"How was church today?"
Our words betray our true line of thought. We may get the Church isn't the building but we still can't divorce ourselves from that concept. We still think of, and act as if, the church is the holy sanctuary where God lives - but only inside of a building. Or, we think there must be a professional priesthood that administers Christianity on our behalf. And, sometimes think there must be a worship set, a choir, or special music in order to "have church." Then, there is the thought that you can't have church without the standard 30 minute sermon.
The only problem is none of this is commanded in the New Testament.
But the command is to love God and love each other. To care for those in need. To bear each other's burdens. To spread the gospel and make disciples. To show the world we are Christ's disciples by the love we show one another.
And these are the commands we are emphasizing over our various traditions. We are learning what it means to be the Church instead of merely "going" to church. We meet in various locations. We practice the Priesthood of Believers. We maximize our resources toward spreading the gospel and meeting needs in our communities. And equally, we love each other in unity.
Are we perfect? Heck NO, we're not perfect!
We're figuring this out as we go along. Our desire is to just follow Christ and allow Him to mold us into who He wants us to be. After all, Jesus probably has a better idea of how He wants His bride, His Church, to look more than we do.
Who are we? We are the Church - and so are you, if you are a confessed Christ-Follower.