Today I met up with a ‘twitter’ friend from Newcastle, Rick Prosser who happened to be in meetings across the road from the Easterfest office, where I was working today. We had a really interesting conversation. Having just returned from a 25 day Easterfest trip I was sharing a little about the places I visited and the people I met when Rick asked a really thought provoking question – ‘So where in your opinion is the ‘church’ in Australia at?’
A really good question! I’ve actually been thinking a lot about church, faith and evangelism lately. I get so frustrated seeing the fragmentation of Christians through what we call denominations. Instead of being a people transformed by the message of Christ we are either numb, grumpy pew warmers or we are passionate advocates for the particular brand of ‘church’ we’re in – absorbed in meetings with fellow ‘members’ trying make something within four walls attractive to the thought of someone actually walking in from the real world… which so rarely ever happens!
I recently listened to the documentary made by Erwin McManus called ‘CRAVE: The Documentary’. Such a worthwhile listen. He talks about how Christians possibly need to learn how to listen and step into the story of others and realise that God has ALREADY been speaking to them. Everyone is on the journey. Everyone has Soul Cravings. People, more then anything are craving AUTHENTIC community are actually really open to having a meaningful conversation with another human being who has met Jesus. BUT they might not actually step through the doors of a church to find it… unfortunately the ‘c’ word has left a bad stench in many peoples mouths.
So back to the original question… I’m not sure where the different denominations are at… but I certainly have met some amazing followers of Christ in the last month who are living, sharing and breathing life and love into the communities they are in. There is a hunger for more.
I’ve always wondered what would happen if instead of us sending a pastor to a struggling little church in the outback….what if we sent a bunch of Christians – a teacher, a doctor, a chappy, a family or three, a miner… real authentic people who have a relationship with Christ. People who ‘reflected’ their faith… who were the ‘church’… imagine how the reputation of the Church could be transformed!
What do you think?