What we call church (may be off base)

Love can’t be limited
To hearing sermons
About God’s love.
It must be lived
In the heart-felt unity
Of Jesus-focused community.

The human longing
For belonging
Isn’t satisfied
By the weekly gonging
Of a sermon.

An hour or two
Sitting thru
Church services
Won’t glue
Hearts together
In community

Calling something a church doesn’t make it biblical. The way we see church seems to be different than the way the Bible presents Christianity. We need to wake up and see that the religious system known as church isn’t working. It’s failing to produce multitudes of Christ-like disciples overflowing with passion for the risen Jesus.

What we call church works from the top down. The preacher speaks to an audience but what he says is rarely put into action. The biblical Christian community works from the inside out. Jesus speaks to hearts and empowers people to obey Him.

We see church as a classroom. The New Testament presents Christianity as Spirit-led community. An audience isn’t a community — even if it’s an audience for a Sunday sermon. Without interactive Spirit-led community what we call church is just a never-ending lecture series.

We see church as a man-made building, but Jesus wants to build by connecting Christians to Himself and to others in the Spirit. To sense that you belong to the supernatural community of Jesus-focused people (which spans time) is a glorious delight!

We see church as a religious meeting conducted and led by a pastor or priest, but Jesus wants to gather people under His own Headship. The Bible says we should be “led by the Spirit.” Jesus-led community happens when people open their hearts to Him and to one another. It requires more than analytical minds.

We see church as a religious organization with a hierarchy, but Jesus said, “the greatest will be the servant of all.” Jesus-focused community is life-changing. The smallest gathering of the body of Christ is two people. You don’t need a crowd to experience Jesus-focused community.

The 50+ “one another commandments” in the New Testament show that the body of Christ is a community, not a religious organization. What we call church doesn’t look like what I see when I read the book of Acts. The body Christ with Jesus as the functional Head doesn’t need a hierarchy.

When English language Bibles quote Jesus as saying, “I will build My church,” it seems like He meant a Spirit-led community, not an institution. If you’re courageous enough to speak about your love for and devotion to the risen Jesus, you’ll discover that you’re not alone.

When you really believe in someone you rely on them. If you believe in Jesus, you rely on Him not on your own effort. Often people who loudly proclaim their rights and their freedom are caught up in inner bondage.

The void!
The Spirit-led
Body of Christ
Meeting with
King Jesus
As the active Head
Is the missing community.
Gather a group
To hear and be led
By the risen Jesus.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences in non-traditional church, called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia." If you need encouragement, search for: Elephants Encouraging The Room and/or check out my Amazon author page. Thank you!
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