(stevenwwatkins gives credit for the information expressed in this blog to Nate Navarro, pastor of Austin Life Church in Austin, Texas, who visited Jonesboro last night.)
The Church (as conveyed by Paul in Ephesians 2: I’ll let you go there to read it in full, but some key points:
- Even when we were children of wrath and sons of disobedience God loved us seeing us in perfection through Jesus.
- Christ made us alive together (the Body of Christ); his body.
- Our good works did not save us. We were saved by grace and faith.
- We (the church, the body) are his workmanship (his masterpiece); perfection.
- Family is messy. Church is a Family. Church is messy.
- Though we are saved through no works of our own, the Holy Spirit that lives IN us will manifest itself through good works … and this is what church is about.
- The missional community has been around since the first century. Maybe we should try it again.
Three forms church has taken on today and PS: God loves these churches too, for they are His workmanship.
- Country Club Church – the church of comfort were we like to be pampered and never inconvenienced. Don’t ask us to serve for we are busy.
- Convenience Store Church – the church of convenience were we want things fast, quick and easy. Want a tan? Don’t get out in the sun. Get spraypainted in 2 minutes. Want cleansing? Go to church at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Don’t mess up my schedule. I have kids.
- FaceBook Church – a convenient community created on our own terms. It’s easier to have 500 FB friends than it is five friends in the real world. Passive relationships where we can project the best. Don’t let others see us when we are weak, or have failed. Mad at somebody? Hey, just DEfriend them!
What does it look like to be a missional community church every day? We must:
- Grow in our devotion to Jesus.
- Grow in our devotion to one another.
- Grow in our devotion to community.
It’s that simple.
Ephesians 2 clearly defines the New Testament Church as a community of people who are in Christ, saved by His grace and walking in good works. We’ve tried to improve the church and the byproduct has been new forms of Christian spirituality, not necessarily the church.
The Gospel is the church. It tells us we are more broken than we can ever admit and more accepted than we can ever imagine. We unnecessarily carry around a low-grade guilt complex.
Will we seek to impress, or will we follow? We can’t impress. It’s not possible.