Skip to main content

food to grow


I think I chose this picture for today because I am hungry, so let's make this blog a quick one so I can go eat lunch. This was taken at a New York Deli just off Times Square on April 7, 2007.

I have been thinking a lot about what exactly church is. I have many friends and online discussion acquaintances who admit they are disappointed at the state of the church today and have chosen not to be there anymore. They say they find fellowship in other places, like having dinner or coffee with good friends, being honest and real with each other about their states in life, and finding support and acceptance there that the church sadly does not offer. While it is great to have friends like that, is it church?

Last night I came up with a definition of church that so far seems to work when I look at the Scriptures and the words of Jesus: It is a community where I am being challenged to be a more mature disciple of Jesus and where I am making other people disciples of him as well. I think the trend in the contemporary Western church setting all too often is to forget about the deliberate maturing process that is supposed to be happening, and we become more of a social club where we are comfortable just being ourselves and stop at that. Disciples never stop until they are made into the image of Jesus and along the way, they make a point to pass on all the lessons they are learning so that others around them can mature and become people who serve others (leaders) and are living examples of Jesus as well.

Tell me your thoughts on what church really is. Just click on Comments below.

And now...LUNCH!

Comments

Anonymous said…
I thought I could comment on a definition of church, since no one else had. By the way, I do like your blog and the insights it gives me into your life. Your definition of church is quite good, but I'd add that it is a group that seeks to worship. And there are so many expressions of that. So maybe I'd sum it up by saying we are about worshipping [not just music] and learning as disciples.
Later,
Yreit
Alexander said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matte Downey said…
I would clarify that my definition of becoming a disciple of Jesus would include worship because Jesus always glorified the Father. Good point, nevertheless.

Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

lessons from a theological memoir and a television series about lawyers

It's a hot Wednesday afternoon, so let's talk about false binaries. Basically, a false binary or false dichotomy happens when a person's options are artificially limited to two choices, thereby excluding all other possibilities. Insisting on the limited choice of either A or B leaves no room for middle ground or another, more creative solution. In other words, a false binary assumes the rest of the alphabet (after A and B) does not exist.

Binary thinking is quite prevalent in our society. Either you are for me or against me. Either you are guilty or innocent. Either you are a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or liberal. Either you are a Christian or a pagan. Either you are all in or all out. Admittedly, it is convenient to see things as either black or white, but we live in a multi-coloured world and not everything fits neatly into two categories. This is why insisting there are only two choices when, in fact, other options exist, is labeled as a fallacy in logic an…