The Church That Jesus Is Building – Part Twelve

I want to continue the series I have been researching and writing … Yesterday we started looking at THE REINVENTION OF CHURCH…. so that we can be part of the Church that Jesus is building.
Life in any and every culture has two aspects

Everyday living and special events
Everyday living is organic, informal, and relational – even spontaneous

Special events are extraordinary functions for which everyone duly prepares
Weddings, funerals … going to church on Sunday
These are usually more formal, need to be organized, and are often structured

Church – as revealed by the survey of young people in Amsterdam (see yesterday’s blog) – has to be more than a weekly CELEBRATION

Imagine if you had to attend a wedding every weekend
Each wedding followed the same basic pattern
Had the same bridegroom and bride
Even included the same kind of food

After some weeks the excitement would wear off
You would know what to expect
You would know what was going to happen

The wedding would still remain a nice thing, a beautiful tradition, but it would feel odd to have the identical festival or celebration every week

We need to be careful not to do this with the Church
Jesus has shown us not only a way to CELEBRATE, but also a way to live (CELL)

Both aspects are necessary and both are good
But everyday life is not like a wedding, as any married couple will attest

If Church takes on only CELEBRATION structures, it will be like attending a wedding a week
And our behaviour will soon be so far removed from real life that it will cease to make sense to ordinary people (Non-Christian)

It will become an artificial, weekly performance – out of touch with the real world

So, we need to have a way to embrace both the CELEBRATION and the CELL
Both the more formal gatherings of God’s people and the informal fellowship meeting over coffee

So, maybe we need to develop small fellowship groups within the larger celebration ‘crowd’ that allows people to share life together as believers… Let’s call them Life Transformation Groups

These groups would have two or three people who meet weekly. As they pray for and see their lost family members and friends saved the group will grow. As soon at it becomes four people meeting weekly, the groups divides into two groups of two and continue on with the weekly meeting…

The two will see a third added… these groups of three will see a fourth added as another comes to salvation – then that group will break into two groups of two. And the process of life multiplying continues as we influence and impact the city.

In most situations and churches we do the CELEBRATION gatherings well BUT there tends to be a lack of real relational CELL life other than the occasional clique

Let’s look at the advantages of informal small weekly gatherings for coffee or a meal… What we are calling LTG – Life Transformation Groups

1> Greater participation

In a smaller group of two or three believers meeting informally we would see much more participation and sharing of life
You could ask how others are doing and have the time to actually listen to and pray for one another
Everyone would have an opportunity to share what is happening in their life and receive input that is relevant and real

Once a group gets to 10 people or more – some people stop talking and no longer participate

When a group has 2 or 3 in it – everyone has opportunity to share and, in fact, must share because of the smallness of the group and the relational bonds that are formed

More people engaged and involved in good…

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