If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I have made some major changes in the way I’m “doing church”. In case you haven’t read this blog before, let me fill you in…
I moved to Gainesville, Florida about 5 months ago to be part of a local body of believers here who meet under the headship of Jesus Christ. We don’t have a pastor, paid clergy, deacons, worship team, greeting team, pews, a pulpit, etc. We have open-paticipatory meetings, we actually get together over meals, events, movies, coffee as a family not as an ideal way of “doing” church, or out of religious duty. We do it because it’s our spiritual instinct to do so–to be a family. For real. For more info on what many call “Organic Church”, I suggest you see Frank Viola’s website or Milt Rodriguez’s website.
When I first arrived here, I had a very small idea of Christ. Though I would’ve told you that I knew how big my Jesus was, I didn’t truly realize just how big He really is. He’s not just Jesus the Head, but Christ the Body too. I use to strive for my Father’s acceptance. I use to labor for the approval of people. One by one, day by day, our Christ has been shedding off all the striving that arises out of fear. I have to admit that all the things the Lord has removed from me these past months, has been completely out of His effort. I don’t have to strive anymore! I don’t have to do things out of religious duty, or out of guilt of being unproductive.
I’ve began to evaluate just why, in the short time I’ve been here, that all this growth has taken place. I’ve gotten to know our Jesus more these short few months, than I have the entire time I’ve been a Christian. My conclusion is this: Christ has a body too. If you’re only living an individual Christian life, you’re only experiencing half of our Lord. You’re missing an essential–the family of God, the Church, in Her purest expression.
There is something, in my opinion, deep inside all Christians calling us to family. Family, fellowship, community, love, brother and sisterhood with other believers. The call inside my own heart led me half way across the country. The question becomes this: will you answer that call?
My experience so far is this: If you wanna know Jesus, get to know His bride. If you wanna experience “your best life now”, meet the church.
These observations are out my experience these past few months. I’m by no-means an expert about the body of Christ or theology. We all have opinions, but when our opinions are formed out of experience, they tend to carry a lot more weight and depth. Especially when it comes to Jesus. We must never form opinions out of head knowledge or what someone has told us and use them as swords in attempting to conquer the un-Godly things of this world.
Jesus is real. His body is just as real. Christ is on the earth today, in the form of a people–ekklesia.