Since we are down here in Myrtle Beach, playing golf and enjoying nice weather over Christmas :-)…We went to a large evangelical church in the area for Christmas Eve. By all standards it is a great church. I heard a very good explanation of the gospel, a call to genuine Christian discipleship, saw baptisms where people professed their faith and desire to follow Christ, we sang Christmas carols. It was a good service. But, I had to ask myself if we experienced “church” today. Sure, we experienced a good worship service with all the “church service” things. But did we experience church? I guess it depends on how you define “church.” If you define it as a place we meet to worship, than we did. If it is a place where you go for intimate “spiritual community,” (as Larry Crabb defines “church” in his book The Safest Place on Earth) and spiritual friendships, than (at the risk of being hyper-critical) I am not so sure we did. Now, of course we were new and didn’t know anyone. So i have take that into account i guess. But, I wonder how many people who were not new there engaged in real spiritual community (i.e. “church”) there tonight (and that i have no way of knowing…just wondering)…

It also makes me wonder, what about our church? I do think we do make some good strides toward being a genuine spiritual community, however we are no where near where we need to be (This i think is something that we have worked in and also a natural result of the size of our church). Regardless, what a challange it is to “be” a spiritual community rather than simply doing church service and programs…

(Please understand that my thoughts tonight do not mean that i think this church does not have genuine spiritual community…it’s just that my experience tonight prompted these thougths in my mind…for all i know, this church could have a strong spiritual community…)

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