Today, the question stills bothers me, “So where do you go to church?” Along with the statements,” You need to go to church with me. We had church today etc…” Herein lies the purpose of this blog: to articulate a biblical, spiritual, theological, and practical answer to the question , Is there a viable way of doing church outside the institutional church experience, and if so, what does it look like?
If the past twenty years have taught me anything, they have taught me this: There will be two major responses to my view on the church. One will sound something like this: “Thank goodness, I’m not crazy! I thought I lost my mind. I’m grateful that there are others who feel the same way I do about church. My writing has given language to feelings and beliefs I’ve had for years. And it’s given me hope that there really is a church life experience beyond what’s commonly known and accepted.”
The other will sound something like this: “How dare you challenge our church practices! God loves the church. What right do you have to criticize it!? And who gives you the right to say that your way of doing church is the only valid way!?”
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not beyond correction in my views. I’m still growing and learning. However, the problem with this particular objection is that it exposes the very problem that I set out to address. Namely, we Christians are very confused about what the church is.
By no means am I criticizing the church. In fact, I’m writing because I love the church very much. And it’s because of that love that I wish to see the body of Christ express itself in ways that I believe God originally intended. The church, therefore, should not be confused with an organization, a denomination, a movement, or a leadership structure. The church is the people of God, the very bride of Jesus Christ.
God has not been silent on how the church naturally expresses herself on the earth. Therefore, it’s the present practices of the church that I’m seeking to change, not the church itself.