Tag Archives: Community

Be The Church Or Make Way For Something Else

Great read for those of us in leadership positions of churches. Enjoy!
Be The Church Or Make Way For Something Else

Christ is not found in our institutions, he is found in the church. In people who love Jesus, love each other and gather together regularly.

Why does the church exist?

It’s not to get people together for meetings. Or to keep our theology pure. Or to defend our traditions. Or to look cool and appealing to the unchurched.

But it’s easy to fall into one or more of those traps if we’re not constantly reminding ourselves what we actually do exist for.

Why The Church Is Supposed To Exist

As defined clearly by Jesus himself in both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, the church exists to love God and share his love with others.

We’re not about meetings, denominations or creeds – although all of those have had and will continue to have a place. We’re about relationships.

It is our calling and our mandate to introduce people to Jesus, connect those people with each other, then prepare them to help others meet Jesus, too.

Being The Church

Through the command to make disciples, Jesus created a self-perpetuating system to keep the church alive, vibrant and adaptable.

Through the command to make disciples, Jesus created a self-perpetuating system to keep the church alive, vibrant and adaptable.

For 2,000 years and counting the church Jesus started has been the most relentlessly growing, most adaptable, most life-changing, most liberating organism in the history of the world.

Despite all the cries of alarm and concern, the church is not in trouble. It’s not dying. Its best days are not behind us.

The church is alive and well, with far greater days ahead than any we’ve seen come and go so far.

But the formats we’re currently using to accomplish those ends? Those are in trouble. Big trouble.

What We’re Doing Instead Of Being The Church

The way we format the church experience, the expectations we have of people when they gather as the church, the top-down hierarchical structures that are so commonplace we barely see them any more – those are going, going and soon will be gone.

And that’s okay.

Because we’re not supposed to be in the business of preserving those formats. And, in fact, to the degree that we try to preserve them we will continue to sap precious resources away from doing what we should be doing – helping people find, love and serve Jesus.

Being the church.

Why Does The Church Exist?

We need to rediscover and re-commit ourselves to being the church Jesus called us to be. Or, while we’re off chasing other ideas, someone else will offer a knock-off version that feels better than what we’re currently doing.

Actually, that’s already happening. It’s been happening for 2,000 years.

There’s always some version of “almost church” that’s ready to give people an “almost” version of Jesus.

There’s always some version of “almost church” that’s ready to give people an “almost” version of Jesus, wrapped up in a greater sense of community than what many churches have.

The church doesn’t own a monopoly on friendship, mission or caring. We have a monopoly on only one thing. Jesus.

Christ Is In His Church

Christ is not found in our institutions, he is found in the church. In people who love Jesus, love each other and gather together regularly. That is de facto the only place to find, know and grow in Christ.

  • Not in a building
  • Not in a creed
  • Not in a specific format
  • And not alone

People loving Jesus and loving each other is how Jesus said the world would be won to him.

That’s the church.

That’s the Jesus way.

That’s who we need to be.

Stay In The Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Community

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Community is one of those buzz words churches use today. I believe with all my heart many churches do want to do church as community, but really don’t know how to do it. We are by no means experts at it, but as we continue to seek opportunities to be the presence of Christ, this was one of those times. We partnered together with the community man himself, Mr. Hector Guerra in the 10th annual Back to School Health fair and backpack giveaway. Over 2,400 people came through and to our table.

One question I asked as the families came through was this: Do you currently go to church? If they answered yes, then I encouraged them to keep on going. I never want other churches to think we want them to come to our church instead. There are plenty of non-church going people in our community that we can invite to church. As I would ask that question, I did receive some expressions indicating why I wouldn’t invite them or talk about City Church if they indeed were going to a church already.

I am friends and co-laborers with many of the pastors at our sister churches. We are all doing the same work. We are all in the same business. We are all on the same team. We are all trying to figure out how to make church relevant to a current generation that sees church as irrelevant. that is why we need to be out in the community among the people.

Thom Rainer recently posted on his blog:

The nine signs of a community-focused church are:

  1. Reaches out to community leaders
  2. Intentionality about being where the people are
  3. The community of eating out and coffee houses
  4. Helping where the community says they need it
  5. Intentionally evangelistic
  6. Intentionally invitational
  7. In the key civic groups
  8. In key political meetings
  9. In the schools

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Shoe Drive

Del Rio, Texas is one of the most unique places in America. It has most all the amenities anyone could want, like shopping, hospital, schools, college, churches, etc., yet it is 3 hours from the closest major airport. There is a lot of need here even for basic human needs, like food, clothing, and shelter.

So, our church along with other area churches, is collecting new tennis shoes in partnership with the Del Rio Back to School Health Fair. We have set a goal of 1,000 pairs of shoes. If you would like to help in anyway (shoes, financial, etc.,) please contact me and let’s make a real difference for the children as the head back to school in August.

shoe-drive

 

Bring a new pair of tennis shoes to church, sizes 10y-5 by Aug 1, 2015, and you will be supporting your local community.

This shoe drive is in partnership with Annual Back to School Health Fair, August 7, 2015, 10 am – 1 pm

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

 

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