What if someone tells you that beautiful, pure-white cathedrals across the world are not actually churches?
What would you think of a group of regular-looking people, cracking jokes and discussing a Facebook photo album, but who declare themselves “a church”?
What if at your church, instead of bread & wine, you receive a piece of Indian chappati and strawberry juice?
Change is unexpected and unusual for anyone who is used to inherited traditions. But how does it matter which way a church looks like or functions? Here is a thank-you note from this blogger, a church member at Marg, Pune who is experiencing church in truly Biblical yet radically different ways.
“3 years ago, I had a mind-set that knew church as an important event on Sunday morning. You would not believe the importance people like me used to attach to a Sunday church service, a Wednesday Bible discussion and a monthly prayer meeting. And unconsciously, that would let me live life disconnected from the church during the week, except for events.
I believe a turning point came with God using at that time, the Antioch School course content and our elder Vivek’s sermons from the “Neglected Way of The Cross” which helped Marg as a church verify if Jesus and the first church followed a Sunday based model of conducting church.
Church is not about one person preaching a sermon on one day of the week, but various people with different gifts using them to build one another, for God’s mission throughout the week.
Church was meant to be in the neighbourhoods where the local church (the people) lived and not just in one corner of a city.
The Bible has practical teaching on how to build the church- but it happen in the weekdays, not just on Sundays.
These are just some of the observations that shook me like a salt-shaker. Slowly, along with others in my missional family, I began to re-orient my life to these truths. This was not easy and took many months for others and me to get used to. Today, I see Marg-Wanowrie trying to be intentional in the identity as one family of missionaries who slave for one another and for those who do not know Jesus Christ.
And it is blessed to know we the church received counter-traditional, yet Biblical teaching that helps us be who Christ intends us to be.”
No, we haven’t had Donuts for Holy Communion. Not yet!
What if you were asked to experience church permanently in these new ways?
Is such a move, wrong?Not helpful?
How would you respond if these changes happened to your church?