I think this video is a good introduction into finding the essence of church. The question this entry aims to discuss is…
What are the essential parts of church that a community of believers cannot be without?

The part that stood out to me the most was how Floyd emphasizes the substance within the container rather than the bottle, can or cup itself. In discussing different ways in approaching the harvest I find that our critiques meander on the issues that reside on the surface, the container that merely holds the substance. Some have problems with church buildings while others are offended by calling a house a sanctuary. In finding healthy strategies to building the Kingdom of earth, we need to look deeply into the substance before shaping the container. It’s easy to get wrapped up in practicing how you are going to preach a sermon before working through the text in finding out what you’re going to say. In the same way, its easy to devote all our time in figuring out how we’re going to break up a small group, arrange the spotlights or construct our buildings. We do this all while failing to train leaders in knowing how to lead their groups, missing out on actually being the light to our own communities, and neglecting to build the body of believers that will one day fill those cathedrals (if that’s what your into). In some cases, the container influences how the substance grows and matures (which is another blog in and of itself), however, Floyd brings up a good initial point that everyone should consider on their journey in building a healthy church.


4 thoughts on “Finding the Essence

  1. Hi Jesse, saw your post on facebook. To the question, what are the essential parts of church that a community of believers cannot be without?Hm.. for me, I dont' know if it can be assumed, but I'd love to see the church sorta act and be like a sports team (I love sports analogies and I'm not trying to disrespect the church). But you know when you're part of a team, your identity becomes as part of a whole, and think wins and loss as part of a whole, you stick up for one another, and you have a common purpose. So for me, I think something essential would be is to have at least the initial core of believers to define a common identity of who we're supposed to be, biblically speaking and connect it to God's overarching narrative from history, present, to future. In other words, we need to ask who are we (the church) in Christ in God's story from Genesis to Revelation.I just think knowing our collective identity in Christ will influence how we act. Then as people (non believers and new believers) come and join what we're doing, they too will adopt for themselves this new collective identity. I think this will address the individual mentality of just attending church, and also our need for something more. This is just my opinion of one essential aspect of the church.

  2. NICE JAMES! I like the analogy of team. It assumes a collective contribution. The question that follows is then how a format of team can be sustain when the group gets larger? With that in mind, I do think that many congregants can feel apart of a team they are not engaged and active in as a fan can feel apart of a professional team they are not apart of. Those crazy fans like Jules can feel apart of team she's not really in 🙂 They love the players, like the strategy of the coach but never have a chance to suit up for a game (who knows, maybe Jules will one day get on the court:). Mind you, this whole analogy depends on what playing the field really means to you and me, but I would generally say that passivity tends to rise as structures become more elite with who gets to play. What do you think?

  3. I don't know. Perhaps Jules can be delegated to coach a little league team and implement what she thinks will work. I guess if the church is small like 20 people, then it may be easier to get everyone on board of knowing their identity as a collective church. In terms of structure, perhaps you can do a normal Sunday worship Service and another day you do Bible study/discipleship class, or volunteer together reaching out to the community, or just go out and do somethign fun. Through this all, you keep inviting non-believers to come and join. THrough these events, the leaders can then pray and watch out for potential leaders or spot for others people's gifts and encourage them to use them already where there's a need.Then as the church gets bigger like to perhaps 40 people, I suppose you can then split the Bible study/fellowship/volunteer day to two to three groups. And with those who have shown more leadership or have grown in maturity, you can pair them up with a leader, and ask them to co-lead the newly divided small group together… perhaps you can have a group of 4-5 leaders lead the newly split group.I haven't read Organic church, but I imagine the notion of small groups is at its core. I think these small groups of 10-20 can act like church, sharing life (by just keeping in touch through facebook, email, going out for coffee, sharing resources), reaching out to the commuity, studying the Bible.. At the same time, I also think you can keep the Sunday where all these smaller groups can come together to have one big worship service.So to address the passivity question, you keep slitting the group on the alternative day, and as you keep splitting, you invite those with leadership potential to co-lead the newly split group on these alternative days, while everyone comes together on the Sunday.These really aren't my own original ideas but they are influenced by what you briefly mentioned to me about empowerment and the importance of small groups, and the title Organic church, and also what Francis Chan wants to do at his church. The only difference (if it is different) would be is to maintain the big Sunday service, that way for those with other gifts liek music can use them on a Sunday for a bigger crowd. I guess this is how I'd run a church. hahaok I"m done my babble now.

  4. Actually, I'm not sure if you mentioned small groups, but you mentioned empowerment. I guess the key is keep it smaller, invite, empower, facilitate, share, reach out and impact, grow and split.. However, I think the why question is important to stress throughout.

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