i recently ran across a blog post of someone who visited our church (The Well. This person came with six others and it seemed she was the only one who liked it. She had some great thoughts in her post.
I think she is right when she says that she thinks “church” is bigger (more than) than a church service. i like to say, church = community (of course, public gatherings are part of that).
the gatherings that we do here in america (while not bad) are far from what they looked like in the early church. i think we sometimes forget that and bring our cultural baggage to church services with us and something that is different from these norms usually makes us feel really uncomfortable. i am pretty sure putting ourselves in places of discomfort can be a good thing.
i think we have to ask ourselves. are we feeling discomfort because something is now pleasing to Christ or because it deviates from what we are used to. that is where each person has to search their heart…
i think any “community” is shaped by scripture, sent by Jesus and his resurrection, dependent on the Holy Spirit (is there more to add to this list) in some way or another makes up “the church.”