Following Jesus, fulfilling His mission

#2 The Church – the Bride of Christ

1 Timothy 3:14–15 (NLT) 14 I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, 15 so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

In our LIFE group Thursday – we’ve got people with background in so many different branches of the church: Presbyterians, Catholic, Methodist, Reformed, Brethren, Uniting Church and the odd Baptist.

There’s nothing like the ‘church’ – we were talking about how our childhood experiences of church shaped our adult thinking or theology of the church – whether good or bad – I grew up in churches where there was no pastor and no order of services and no formal membership.

It did change over time, but Sunday services we’d sit there and wait for the Spirit to move and someone would lead a song (the Believer’s hymn book), share from the Scriptures, pray, give a testimony.

The only thing organized was the preacher and communion (had that every week, normally a good port or sherry).

I thought all churches were like that.

Interesting how our early experience of church continues to shape our thinking around our understanding of ‘church’. Alternatively, our early experiences of church cause some to deconstruct the church, rethink, reframe, deinstitutionalize. Been a lot of that lately.

Not all bad – Maybe you look around at the contemporary church landscape and think, This can’t be what Jesus had in mind – bouncy castles to church in the comfort of your lounge room and ugg boots.

Perhaps you’ve observed a version of cultural uber-church that has more to do with Corporate Australia than Jesus of Nazareth.

Often destructive to faith – where deconstruction becomes demolition.

Deconstruction can enable us to find the good and the helpful parts of our faith upbringing, while reshaping or throwing out the unhelpful…