Pt. 2, If The Church Is The People

…then we are the church when we gather for a worship service and also when we gather for other parts of life.
For example, one Saturday morning, we did gather for worship and in the afternoon we gathered for theatre. Both were gatherings of the church.
One saw us sing some songs about following Jesus. The other saw us listen, okay and some of us sang along, to a musical about a fiddler on a roof. Not the same but still each was a gathering of the church involving music.

Interestingly both involved prayer to God albeit one was real and the other staged. Of course, we might easily argue either context could have featured real or staged prayer.

Both events saw hospitality extended to new and returning friends. Both involved relationships continued and nurtured.

Both events were part of life journeying with Jesus. And both had tremendous value to the Church.

Why do we place greater value on getting new friends to a church service when we might have a great spiritual conversation or encounter at another event?

I understand that at a service we usually spend time worshipping God in song, we listen to teaching from the Bible and we might hear a story about faith. And all those things are valuable, even vital to the life of a Christian. But they’re not all there is and often the time, energy and money expenditures of churches would lead us to believer they are. The majority of the church budgets go to buildings, equipment and staff that put the majority of their time into crafting a weekly service.

Want to tell a friend about Jesus?

Then the usual method seems to be to bring them to a church service where the professionals and the well produced service with a well delivered anointed message and powerful worship will win them to Jesus.

What if instead of inviting people to a church service we invited them into our lives?

Isn’t that what people did with Jesus? They brought others to meet Him and spend time with Him and it wasn’t usually in a worship service context. They journeyed with Him, ate with Him, and they saw how He lived, prayed, laughed, cried and focused His life on God’s Kingdom.

I would suggest that either gathering mentioned earlier is a valuable and positive gathering of the body of Christ. Yes, you can bring someone to a church service, absolutely! But if the Church is the people then wherever we go the church is!  And in every part of life, we can love God with all we’ve got and love our neighbours as ourselves. And it’s those two things that Jesus says are the great commandments that contain all the law and the prophets. And they are to be found in God’s people not just in a worship service.

That’s what we seek to do with Diaspora. We invite people into our regular rhythm of life that includes serving, worshipping, eating, playing, learning, laughing, loving the people around us, praying, being an extended family, doing faith building practices, eating again, being loud, being quiet and overall being the church.

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