Wednesday, May 25, 2005

MY NEW CHURCH by Keith Giles

Sometimes I want to start my own Church.

When I take a look at the Churches around me that cling to what is safe and normal, it makes me want to jump off the merry-go-round and find a few others who are sick of the spin and who long for something more.

I’ve actually taken the time to write out on paper what my Church would look like.

First of all, we’d be devoted to the poor. We’d do our best to take the Gospel of the Kingdom of God into the streets where we live and display the compassion and heart of Jesus to the poor, the broken and the forgotten.

I want a Church full of people who love God more than they love their comfort zones.
I want a Church of people who don’t just say yes to God, they actually go and do what He has already clearly commanded.

I want a Church where everyone is welcomed, accepted and truly loved just because of who they are.

I want my Church would take time to listen, not just to preach. My Church would work together with other Christians, regardless of their doctrine or practice, for the main goal of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus to the world.

My Church would not be concerned with buying a building or getting on the radio. It wouldn’t be driven to compare itself to other Churches based on numbers or size or ability.

My Church would be a safe place for anyone to come and hear about God, regardless of who they are, how they vote, or what their sexual orientation might be. In fact, anyone who wanted to come and hear the voice of God and receive the Grace and Mercy and Forgiveness of God would feel welcome, no matter what.

My Church wouldn’t allow people to come and be anonymous. It would be impossible for anyone to come and just blend in without being known, embraced and loved.

My Church would be a place where people could believe, become and belong without fear.

My Church would be committed to helping people actually follow Jesus in their actual lives. We would focus our sermons and our small groups on how to apply the Gospel to daily life, because if we can’t do that we should all go home.

My Church would put into practice the things it says it believes, every single day. Or at least it would die trying to.

Would you commit your time and energy to an organization that patterned itself after Jesus? Would you join a Church like this?

Well, the sad truth is, you can’t. Why? Because you already are that Church.

There is no other Church than the one we’ve got.

You and I are the people of God. We are the Church that He has assembled for these times. We are the Church called to make a difference in this day and to this culture.

We are the Church God has chosen to love others in a way that no one has ever seen before. We are the Church that God has entrusted to be His ambassadors to the world.

In the four walls on Sunday, and outside the four walls the rest of the week, we are the Church. At home, in line at the Grocery store, at work, at school, in fact, everywhere you are, there you will find that Church.

A.W. Tozer put it best when he said, “We must not think of the Church as an anonymous body, a mystical religious abstraction. We Christians are the Church and whatever we do is what the Church is doing. The matter, therefore, is a personal one. Any step forward in the Church must begin with the individual.” (From “The Knowledge Of The Holy”; pg.114.)

We are the Church. The only Church the world will ever know.

So, now, let’s go and be the church we dream of.

[Keith Giles is one of the world's greatest enigmas. Ruggedly handsome yet surprisingly gentle and compassionate with small animals, Keith actually has a very weak grasp of reality and often talks to himself in the bathroom mirror. He's currently writing his own story about his time in the wilderness, serving as a Pastor at The River Church in Tustin, California, and putting together a few subversive projects of his own in his spare time. You can see one of them here at http://subversive1.blogspot.com/]

1 comment:

Jewels76 said...

I know exactly what you mean. I often wish I could just start small and have a house meeting with people and talk freely about Jesus and what he's doing in our lives and how he's answering prayer.

I long to find people who don't talk in that weird "Christian" tone. That seem less plastic. I know that sounds harsh but I hate that when I ask people how they are they put on a weird smile and say "Oh God is so Good" and "God Bless you". Not that I don't like either of those statements but I KNOW God is Good and it's just the way that they say them!

AHHHHH!!! It's so good to know that I'm not the only Jesus follower that feels out of place in the church and I'm not the only believer that feels like there's gotta be more than this.