March 13, 2009

Redefining "Church"

This morning as I was trying to exercise and get back into jogging shape, I was listening to Andy Stanley on my Ipod.  He was speaking on the 7 Practices of Effective Ministry.  As I listened to him explain how he thought that many churches had lost focus on reaching those in this world who do not have a personal, life changing relationship with Jesus, a thought stuck with me.  

We need to really consider "redefining" what church is.  

Now don't get all bent out of shape on that statement.  What I am saying is the Church that is written about in the book of the Bible called Acts, seems to handle life's "stuff" and "problems" differently than the church does these days.  

In fact, I believe in a sense, Jesus came back over 2000 years ago to do some "Redefining". At that time he was "Redefining" peoples understanding of the Laws of Moses and the prophets that God had given to Israel.  In fact, many times in the scriptures we see Jesus "explaining, "teaching", and "preaching" what God really meant about how to apply the Laws and expectations of God to their lives.  He didn't do away with the Laws or God's expectations, mind you, he just helped people get back on track with the original intent God had.  Jesus once said in the book of Matthew...

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 

I am going to explore the book of Acts more closely and see what I can find out about what the original " Church" looked like when if first was born out of God's love, Jesus' obedience, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and blog my insights... stay tune...
I'm doing life together with you, 


  1. What's up, Preacherman. This is Karl Nelson.

    I read on your bio that you see yourself as "a very IMPERFECT person, who makes LOTS of mistakes, and has screwed up so many times in my life that I can't name them all". I know how you feel. I struggle with this every day. I've done so many wrong things in my life. A lot of times, I don't understand how God can forgive me for all of the bad things I've done. Even if I did a 180 and changed tommorow, a couple of years of good deeds can't possibly make up for all the horrible acts I've committed in my life. Despite what all of these preachers on TV tell you, God is not okay with everything. Sin is serious. It's dead serious.

    I guess forgiveness is really hard for me to accept. I don't see a lot of it in humanity itself and I, personally, have a hard time forgiving people. It's difficult for me to fathom that we can sin all the time and then expect to be forgiven for it all from God in an instant. That's not even fair. It's hard for me to believe that God can forgive us all for every wrong thing we've ever done in our lives when we ourselves, can't even forgive people for the slightest, honest, mistake. (I know God can and does forgive, but it's very, very hard for me to accept and grasp that concept.)

    As for the topic at hand, sometimes when you look at the Church today, it doesn't resemble the same Church you see in the book of Acts. The true miracle that you see in the Church in the book of Acts was the love that you see displayed from it. Every person was taken care of--every persons' needs were met. You constantly preached on the Church's need to show love to the world when you were at Warwick and judging by one of your earlier blogs where you stated that you believed that the Church should make sacrifices to give people what they're seeking for and to not only just give them what they need, but to go beyond their need and give them more than they expected, I can tell your perspective hasn't changed. I'm really grateful for that. It's a message that all of us need to hear constantly.

    I hope everything is going well for you. I'll talk to you again soon.

  2. Thanks for the comments Karl. First of all I miss you guys. Second of all I am doing a sermon series on the "Real F Word" Forgiveness. This week I will be talking about forgiving yourself. Part of what I will be sharing is about Peter...the disciple who denied knowing Jesus (when Jesus was being interrogated by the High Priest) while in the courtyard after Jesus had been arrested in Gethsemane. Peter denied Jesus 3 times before the Rooster crowed....and once even swore/cursed saying he didn't even know who Jesus was... That's probably as bad of thing that anyone can ever do and seek forgiveness from...but do you know what, God forgave Peter. Read Mark 16:6 & 7 where the angle at the tomb said to those women who found the stone rolled away..."go, tell his disciples, and peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee'." IF GOD HADN"T FORGIVEN PETER, THEN WHY WOULD HE HAVE HIS ANGELS CALL HIS NAME SPECIFICALLY TO BE ONE OF THE ONES TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST RESURRECTION PERSONALLY. The point is that God did forgive Peter...and by Peter doing what was asked on him, he showed that he actually received God's forgiveness and in turn, forgave himself. And guess what, Peter became one of the leaders of the CHURCH! He was an OUT SPOKEN LEADER WHOSE BOLDNESS IS IN PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS did more to grow the church of Jesus than his past sins that God had forgiven him for and that he had forgiven himself for...
    SO, my word for you is ....GO AND DO LIKEWISE...God has and will forgive you of your sins when you sincerly ask him, and then you MUST forgive yourself and go to work BUILDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Love ya, man.