Church is local, small, a mix of people from different races and social status, sharing teaching, prayer and possessions together and with people around them. Churches feel an affinity with one another, sharing people resources, monetary resources and good news.
It is not a highly organised, hierarchical, slick structure of similar people.
Church is for the questioning, the rejected, the insecure, the depressed, the angry, the abused, the addicts, the bereaved, the homeless, the ill, the sick, the paralysed, the possessed, the lepers, the men, the women, the not sure, the young and the old.
It is not just for the well off, well behaved and well-educated people but it does include them.
Church is a system of people, of people groups. Going through the countryside a while ago on a train, I saw church after church after church – building – in every small, quaint village. They were built by people of faith but we need to build people of faith covering every area.
It is not a system of buildings, a system of parishes covering a particular area.
Church is on an ongoing mission, a living body moving in God’s purposes in the world.
It is not still, complacent, comfortable with no direction or momentum.
*See for example Acts 2 v 42 – 47, Romans 16 v 1 – 15, 1 Cor 12 v 12 – 31, Colossians 4 v 7 -16 and the meaning behind the Greek word for church ‘ecclesia’.
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