(A video version of this post is available at the bottom of the page.)
Where does your definition of church come from? Tradition? Denomination? Maybe you’ve never really gone to church or have had a bad experience. What’s church really supposed to be?
Back when Today.Church was just an idea, the vision was to reach people that aren’t being reached by traditional church. Being like those first followers of Jesus in the first century was the goal. In many ways, that goal still seems far away.
In the first few chapters of the book of Acts, you see this amazing community of Jesus followers. There was such unity and love for one another – even those not following Jesus could see it! They were doing life together daily both in public places and house to house.
Church in the first century wasn’t an event or a place, and it still isn’t today. Church is anytime, anywhere Jesus people gather together doing Jesus things.
Yet for the past five years, most of what we have done at Today.Church is gather together once a week for a “service.” Why? Well that’s how you do church in our culture. While there have been some amazing examples of loving one another if you look at the New Testament and the modern Western church you have to ask why they look so different?
Instead of trying to get people into church, what if the goal should be getting church into people? What would that look like? In the New Testament, and for the first four centuries of Christianity, it didn’t look like a once a week gathering in a church building. There were public meetings yes, but the daily part was house to house too.
Where do you see that, today? Where do you see a group of Jesus followers so united that they are known by their love for one another? Where there are no needs among them because of their generosity and sharing of resources?
Didn’t Jesus say His followers would be known by their love for one another? What do outsiders think of church in our times. Not that.
Are we really following Jesus and obeying His commands? How can we be more like Jesus, together?
Honestly, we don’t know exactly how to do this. But doing nothing different than just “having” church is no longer an option. So we are not only rethinking church, but beginning a new chapter of Today.Church.
But understand this — it’s not about a church name, logo or a pastor. I don’t care what it’s called or who God chooses to lead it. I just want to see the Bible come alive in our circles of influence. In our community!
This Thursday will be the launch of our first neighborhood church. Saturday night begins coffee house church. The vision is to BE the church where people are. We hope to launch simple churches like this everywhere! In our families, neighborhoods and places where people already gather.
What does that look like? The only roadmap is the New Testament. The vision will be realized when “church” looks like this!
Acts 2:42-47 (NET)
42 They were devoting themselves to the apostlesʼ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and held everything in common, 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. 46 Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, 47 praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.
If you don’t have a church home and while reading this feel that sense of urgency to BE the church not just go to church, let’s connect.
If you think church isn’t for you, but are willing to give something different a shot, let’s connect.
There are links below to the two simple churches starting this week. But if those times don’t work for you, let’s connect and see what happens.
We are expecting miraculous things. Can you imagine doing life with people who love and respect everyone, refuse to gossip or complain, share resources and love Jesus more than anything else in the world?
That’s church – or at least what it should be. We simply believe it’s possible, today.
Here are the links mentioned if you would like more information: