I want to be part of a church....(a Friday Five post)

Over at RevGal this week, Sally shared the thoughts of the newly elected British Methodist Vice President, Eunice Attwood. These were shared at the Annual Conference in the last week.

I want to be part of a church that is prayer-filled -
A church that is resourced and sustained by the Bible,
A church that can offer hope even in a credit crunch,
A church that can live well with difference and diversity.

I want to be part of a church that welcomes the wealthy, those who have power and influence -
A church that knows how to party and celebrate life,
A church that acknowledges death and speaks boldly of resurrection,
A church that doesn’t pretend to have all the answers but encourages all the questions.

I want to be part of a church that throws parties for prostitutes -
A church that welcomes those who seek asylum,
A church that longs and yearns for justice,
A church that listens to those no-one else wants to listen to.

I want to be part of a church that believes in transformation not preservation -
A church where all who are lost can be found,
A church where people can discover friendship,
A church where every person takes responsibility in sharing the good news.

I want to be part of a church whose hope is placed securely and confidently in the transforming love of God -
A church that engages faith in its communities,
A church that makes and nurtures disciples of Jesus.

A church where the story of God’s love is at the centre.
I want to be part of a church that offers outrageous grace, reckless generosity, transforming love and engaging faith.
This is God’s story Transforming Love: Engaging Faith.

My prayer is that by the power of the Spirit of God at work amongst us, it will increasingly be our story.

So, Sally asks, what kind of church do we want to be part of? What does our "dream church" do? How does it behave in the 21st century.

Well....

1. I want to worship and fellowship in a church that remembers that this is the most important thing:
But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him. "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"

Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

Matthew 22:34-40
Because I see all too frequently that we forget that part about loving our neighbors, being too quick to judge instead.

2. I want to be part of a church in which I can say "Jesus is my Savior I choose to follow, but who am I to say that someone who doesn't agree with me is wrong?" without feeling like I've just dropped a bomb.

3. I want to be part of a church that isn't all feel-good and warm fuzzies. That does convict me, that does make me feel called to task when I really have stepped outside the appropriate boundaries--but does it with love and not condemnation.

4. I want to be in a church that recognizes that the most important ministry work I do rarely happens inside the church walls, and that I will choose to minister there (quietly, with minimal mention of my faith) because that's where the people who need ministering to are many times before I choose to make it to a worship service.

Oh, let me continue that thought....I want to be in a church that recognizes that the most important work ANY church or church member does is not inside the 4 walls. It's in the world.

5. I want to be in a church, in a world, that doesn't box God in. How do we forget so easily that He is the God of wonders beyond our galaxy?



Wander over to today's Friday Five at RevGalBlogPals for other musings on the church in the 21st century.
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7 Response to "I want to be part of a church....(a Friday Five post)"

  1. angela says:
    Jul 2, 2010, 8:00:00 AM

    Wow--you really do have a 21st century take on this topic. Great post. And I love the way you set off quotes like the poem and the Biblical passage.

  2. Sally says:
    Jul 2, 2010, 8:17:00 AM

    Oh I love your number 3, real accountability from a place of real love!

  3. Mavis says:
    Jul 2, 2010, 8:23:00 AM

    Amen amen. I like being part of this church

  4. RevDrKate says:
    Jul 2, 2010, 8:28:00 AM

    "I want to be in a church that recognizes that the most important work ANY church or church member does is not inside the 4 walls. It's in the world." Oh YES AMEN! What a great vision. I really want us to get there in our churches.

  5. Mompriest says:
    Jul 2, 2010, 8:43:00 AM

    I used a different piece of scripture - but this one from Matthew is the very heart of my ministry. I am right here with you on what kind of church I want. thank you.

  6. Diane says:
    Jul 2, 2010, 10:09:00 AM

    yeah, for number 4. so well said.

  7. Googlover/keishua says:
    Jan 19, 2011, 3:48:00 PM

    great post. I find that looking for a church can be hard work. I love these list.

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