Monday, May 12, 2008

New Thoughts

Sorry that I have not been able to post, it has been kinda crazy and I felt that I really did not have anything to say!!! (Please keep comments to yourself)
I have just got back from a conference, in Toronto, for the fellowship that I belong to. During the business sessions and workshops, I got thinking...
How would you answer,"A church is..."
How would you answer "The primary the primary purpose of the church is..."
Finally, how would you answer "A Christian is..."


SoulPastor said...

3 simple questions...
I guess the answers are not as simple!?

novice said...

It's hard to be concise without being trite.

"A church is..." the best word we have right now to describe a group of believers who have chosen to group themselves together.

"The primary purpose of the church is..." going to get me in trouble if I try to define it. I feel that even though it's become cliched, "to know Christ and to make Him known" says a lot.

"A Christian is..." someone who never wears blue jeans, has a neat hair cut, attends church services 3 times a week and has never played Halo. :) Beyond all that, someone who has placed his or her faith in Christ.

Scott said...

A church is wherever Christian people meet together. It can be in mass gatherings or 2 or 3 people out for drinks doing life together. Heck, church can be listening to music and pondering God and faith.

The churches purpose: Not sure, is there purpose? That would be my question in lieu of an answer.

A Christian is someone who has not only placed their faith in God, but someone who lives out that faith put in God.

Anonymous said...

I feel, the purpose of the church is/should be to continue to carry the message, (of hope in knowing Jesus and having a relationship with him), to the person who still suffer's in not knowing him, or the person who once knew him and has sliped away, and this should be the example or definition of a christian and the Church.

Just my take on the definitions.

kmawesome said...

a church is... a group of believers

the primary purpose of the church reflect God's love to those around them and teach those who do not know about Christ. it is also to serve.

A christian is...and imperfect person who has put their faith in Jesus, and ATTEMPTS to live out the ideals and calling of their faith, as demonstrated by Jesus.

yes i know these sound like sunday school answers but it is simply what first pops into my head when i see those questions. keeping with general and simplistic explanations as well.

however the difference will be how each church and christian chooses to act out on their faith.

Scott said...

Just to comment on the "first thing that comes to mind is Sunday school answers" part of that last post.

Isn't that what we should be getting away from? Sunday school answers just don't cut it anymore. People (Believers and non-believers) want more intelligent reasoning for the way things are, especially for church, because its hard for people to comprehend.

I'm not knocking you in anyway, so take no offense, I just think we should be looking for more of an answer then the said "Sunday school" redundancy.

kmawesome said...

i guess to respond to your response is it is something that is hard to define for someone who may not be familiar with theological terminology.
no offense taken it is important to be challenged and questioned.
i guess for me it somes down to how to generalize without it sounding like a cookie cutter answer.
i did try to add some stuff too but i guess that for me it is a little hard to think outside the box with these kinds of definitions and those definitions are what it means to me.
however i'm not sure how else i would define them all.
at least my answer to all of them wasn't JESUS, even though he is the answer to everything (LOL).

Anonymous said...

Does everything have to be intellectual and complicated?
I mean other than Jesus having to define "born again" it's pretty simple.

Karen said...

It all depends on the perspective you take.

The church is -

That building with the cross on top.
A group of believers aka the bride of Christ.

The primary purpose of the church is -

A place to have weddings, funerals and play bingo.
To follow in Christ's example and in effect be his hands and feet while we inhabit this earth.

A Christian is -

That person who condemns the rest of the world who are not "christians", is generally ignorant and hypocritical, has some outdated belief structure but otherwise is just about like everybody else.
A person able to live in this world with
Faith to believe that God is in control of all things at all times. Hope for the future they cannot see Wisdom to live each day with the understanding that life is more than just about themselves.
Love for God, themselves and the world around them.

Karl G said...

I believe the first 2 questions are really one and the same.
A church is a place where believers come together to fellowship, worship the creator and become equipped to do the work of the ministry. A Christian is someone who confesses and believes that Jesus Christ was Gods son, rose from the dead on the third day, and pursues him and his kingdom the best they can.

A single word that would answer all 3 questions in my mind is Love.

Mark 12:30-31

30And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment.

31The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

The whole Christian faith is nothing without Love.

Misty B said...

I have thought about this question a lot (not just because of this post.)

There was a period in my life when I was not part of an organized 'meet on Sunday morning' kind of church. I had friends I connected with and we believed that we were a church. I thought that I would not be part of the other type of church again.

Yet I found myself really missing the experience of going somewhere Sunday morning. I know that was just the tip of what I missed now but that was a start. Eventually I realized that a needed a place where we shared something in common. I needed a place where we did ministry and served together, where I would be encouraged to step out and move forward but still have a soft place to land.

Making that choice caused me to lose some relationships I think. A lot of the people I was close to then are no longer really part of my life. I think about them and wonder if the fact that they have chosen to stay away from the type of experience I have makes them less of a Christian. I don't really think I can say that.

Scott said...

"Does everything have to be intellectual and complicated?
I mean other than Jesus having to define "born again" it's pretty simple."

Its not that it has to be more intellectual or complicated. It's more about defining our faith with more then just text book answers. Answers we here in church and in various other church activities.

It is about challenging your faith, questioning and looking for the intricacies that are abundant in the christian faith. Pushing forward to better understand God and his word.

Why not pursue the complexities of faith? Why not look beyond the scratched surface?