Whatever happened to...

Whatever happened to the church at Corinth? Thessalonica? Ephesus? Galatia? Are any of these churches still open?

Two conversations appear to be happening in the Church in USAmerica running side by side. One is the need to start new churches. The other is the concern for churches which are in decline or being closed. Sometimes this conversation overlaps. I usually hear it in the form of...

"Why are we starting new churches? We should be helping the older ones."
"Why are we helping older churches? We should be starting new one."

Haven't churches through the centuries "closed their doors?" Haven't new churches been opened? I see pictures of the country side of the UK littered with the remains of old churches which are now closed. The landscapes are changing again.

I think the church (and any organization) needs to look consistently and deeply at what Jim Collins calls the "Hedgehog Concept" (Good to Great)
What are you deeply passionate about?
What you can be the best in the world at?
What drives your economic engine?

The first two seem pretty straight forward and the wording of the third seems a bit rough for the church/non-profit side of things. It doesn't change the reality. There is an economic element to the church (always has been just look at Acts and Paul's letters) that does not make it the goal and it isn't the point of the question. "What drives your economic engine?" is a question related (for the church) to the answers to the first two questions.

The history of two thousand years tells us churches are going to close. We can ask another question about whether buildings were even needed in the first place? Many churches and schools used to share space, new churches are doing that again. So are we more concerned about buildings or about people? What is really "the church?"

My first real job was with Circus World toy stores. They don't exist anymore. Same thing with Names-n-Things. The two movie theaters I worked for have since been torn down. I'll concede, these aren't the best analogies, but I think they make the point. The difference is, the Church, the Bride of Jesus Christ, doesn't close, the Bride is a living being. The Church is a Body, the Body is living and the Body stays alive, always has. We're more than an organization, we're the Church not just a church.

Corinth, Ephesus, and the others are gone. The Church is still here.



May I Ask: How are you or how is your church being the Church?
May I Suggest: Share your story about being the Church.

2 comments:

gavin richardson said...

"i am the church, you are the church, we are the church together"

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