After a few days down at the NJ shore with family we are back in Vermont. I’m scrambling to get a few articles together for this week and have a bit of a back log of stuff to post on. I hope I can remember it all.
Thanks to Neil Cole’s book Organic Church I have been thinking a lot about church and ministry. So far I have been really hit with two of his points:
1. Church buildings have a tendency to change the focus of ministry, whether we want them to or not. We suddenly feel a pressure to keep the building full, gauge our success by numbers, and to provide programs in the building to keep people there. Right? I have felt this and feel it even in house church settings! Oftentimes church buildings cause ministries to continue long after they have ceased to be alive and effective.
For example, one church down in Ocean City had a huge stone laid in it side that read, “Dedicated to the Glory of God in 1967.” Well, there you have it. How can a ministry fold up and try something else with that on its building???
2. The other point of Cole that is tremendously freeing for me is that church is a simple gathering of disciples. It can be two or three disciples even. I don’t have time to develop this thought, but if Cole is right, then the implications for ministry are huge. HUGE, HUGE, HUGE (said with my Philly accent that would be: ‘uge).