I’m sorry to say this, but too much of what we call Christian is not a manifestation of the supernatural life of God in our souls. Too much of what we call Christian is really just human. And now I’m going to say something really terrible, so brace yourselves or stop your ears. The church of Jesus Christ is not necessarily present when there is a correct administration of the sacrament and faithful preaching of the Word of God. The church of God is present where people gather together in the power of the resurrected life of Jesus Christ. It is possible to have the administration of the sacraments and the preaching of the Word of God and to have it simply be a human exercise. – pg. 51
Yesterday I sat for most of the day in a training seminar about small group ministry in churches. The church putting it on has a great small group ministry from what I know, and they had some really worthwhile things to say.
However, as they described how people learn how to be in a community and care for others, I wrestled with one question over and over: How does Jesus fit in this? I think everything they said was great, but I kept wondering what made it special from what any other religious system might call people too relationally.
This isn’t meant as a critique of that church…just what I was pondering. It is easy for us to get caught up in what we are to do as a church, and how we are to do it. Unfortunately, it is often too easy to forget the why. We don’t just gather in large or small contexts to celebrate the resurrected life of Jesus, but to continue it. We invite others to Life as he showed it to us, and it is through grace that we are empowered and enabled to do so.