The Church: “The community of people who have decided, through the history of mankind, to both follow the teaching of Jesus, and model their lives after the life of Jesus.”
Leaving all the historical process of canon formation, Constantine, baptisms at swordpoint, organized church births and splits, ecclesiology and postmodernist preferences aside, that is a central definition that seems biblical in tone.
So, the question for today is, how do you feel (I use that word intentionally), about Church as you’ve known it? Define Church in whatever way you want.
As for me?
I believe more and more in the ruling Story. It’s way better than two turtles holding up the earth, or that you and I were made to just enjoy life and die.
I believe less and less in mankind’s historical capability to distill, theologize and strategize the Story’s advancement or the Church’s optimal organization (though I think Christians do missional community better than Microsoft execs or Wall Street gurus ever will).
I believe more and more in the power of extreme love, authentic community, sacrificial living and the power of the Spirit of God to transform a heart. I believe in what I call a centripetal spirituality — a way of sacred living in the world that draws people in by the sheer force of its character. To me, we’re approaching “Church” as we approach these themes.