Friday, June 29, 2007

The Mereness of Church

Thabiti Anyabwile has been blogging on The Mereness of Church. I have enjoyed all of his posts. The latest post is entitled "Life Together." Commenting on the description of "church" in the first century given in Acts 2, Anyabwile notes

This passage in the early history of the church tends to stun us with the obvious and powerful supernatural acts of God on display. There were "many wonders and signs" and "the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." It's as though our eyes tunnel in on these extraordinary aspects of that huddled mass of early Christianity.
We all look to Acts 2 for the hope of what church should be. But perhaps we're missing it in part because we've gotten away from the simplicity of what church should be. Again:
It's actually a pretty mere list. No vacation Bible school. No organized men's or women's fellowships. No alternative services for differing musical preferences. No special auxiliaries of the church for this or that social or political cause (and surely there were plenty to be involved in in 1st century (Rome and Jerusalem). Nothing mentioned about youth group or youth church. It's a pretty plain paper bag approach: teaching, fellowship, communion, and prayer.
The irony, as Anyabwile points out, is that we've sought for God's power to show up through our programs rather than in the basics of church because such basics are often begrudged by contemporary Christians. One more quote:
Prayer meetings are almost empty in most churches. People tire of doctrine and theology; they want something "practical" they tell us. Hospitality and fellowship are a lost discipline in many quarters; privacy and anonymity are vaulted values. For some, communion is an "add on" to the service, a ritual often not understood or esteemed even by many in the ministry.
I find myself driven to serve in and do life together with a church that looks to recover the "mereness" of life together. I found this book to offer a lot of good ideas on just how to do it (I know, there are a lot of other good ones out there, too.)

1 comment:

wog67 said...

I just spoke with a couple whose church has a Saturday service for the edgy types. I wonder if they preach or teach the value of communion.