Thursday, April 30, 2009

Starving or healthy - which Church are you?


Starving by Suzanne Muna 2005

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:42-47 TNIV).



The Acts 2 scripture is challenging and somewhat haunting for me. I remember it being a focus point for ministry and outreach in not one but two different occasions and locations in ministry. I feel the connectedness of the Acts 2 community is so much of what the church and people in common are also starving for today.

People need relationships with people that are real that involve: caring for, helping each other and making room for each other in our lives. These are gifts that are sometimes diminished in the administrative church of today. Not in all cases, but in several. I say this not out of theory, but out of my own experience and that of others as well.

I spoke with a fellow recently that is in the process of being "vocationally displaced" by his current church. Some if the issue is financial, some of it is not - unfortunately more of the reason for his sudden displacement are long standing power and control issues that are too common and so destructive.

His situation was mine a few years ago. Sadly, I continue to see a rise in this "Survivor" like mentality within ministries. The growth of this voting off and alliance behavior makes me wonder if eventually the church could push away everyone and then result in itself being sequestered to it's own solitary private island?

I'm in a position and place at present that this is not (thankfully) occurring, but my heart aches for those who are in this position right now. It needs to stop before the Church (the bride of Christ) becomes any more the emaciated bride than she already is.

Someone needs to beat down the door and get the Church a sandwich - one that will nourish her needs, so she can begin to care for the world - like it was intended.

The Church of Acts 2 is one that is nourished, growing and taking care of the needs of each other and beyond. How has this shift to starvation faith occurred?

Buy a sub - feed the bride, before she simply fades away.

This segment is part of a group discussion on the book 40 Days living the Jesus Creed.

1 comment:

Mel said...

*sigh*

It's so easy to get distracted by the noise around us...

I do hope for the clarity of 'back to basics' for those who are falling into the noise.