The Mom-and-Pop Church (Part 5)

This is the last (for now) part in a series of posts. I’m taking the long way around describing what I find to be a more missiologically sound church.

Whenever we talk about our theology of church, we usually look back to the “first church” that we read about in the book of Acts. Some read what they’re doing into the account (from a modern church lens). Others follow the example of the early believers quite literally. Certainly we can all be thankful and learn from our spiritual heritage. But why stop at the Jerusalem church? As we think through what it means to be the church, why not consider the church that Jesus planted?

Maybe Jesus planted the church he intended. Maybe the twelve disciples (plus the 60 or so others) were a church:

  • The scriptures mainly feature the men in the group (they were the ones he first called), but we know there were others, including women and young people in the larger group. Maybe initially only the Twelve met the qualifications for church leadership.

My point here is not to advocate for a roaming gypsy commune-style church, or even to be critical of church as we know it. I just wonder why we don’t consider Jesus a church planter, when he clearly saw Himself as one. I wonder why we focus on church at the local (or multi-site) level when Jesus almost always talked about it in terms of the Kingdom.

This “Mom-and-Pop Church” series of posts is my attempt to cast a vision for an expression of church that is sustainable, relational, and biblical. I believe that despite the megachurch’s efficiency and momentum, the trend is fundamentally flawed and limited by its own culture and pragmatism. I continue to challenge leaders to think like missionaries in all that they do, in order that we might participate fully in the building of God’s Kingdom.

3 thoughts on “The Mom-and-Pop Church (Part 5)

  1. This has been an interesting series and you have done a good job pointing us back to what the NT actually says about being God’s people here on earth. Personally, I like lists, and the one above is a good description of the kinds of characteristics we ought to be striving to imitate as we “seek first the Kingdom”. With the developing financial crisis in the USA, we may well begin to look closer at some of these characteristics. For too long, we have relied upon our financial strength to do God’s work. We may well have to learn the hard way that “his thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways.”

  2. Hey Ernest,

    I actually like the roaming gypsy commune image. Church should be more like that… a body of believers on the move and not tied down to one place… being and doing the things you describe. Thanks for the insight.

  3. Another good post. I think a good question to ask is….do we really want a NT church? It was messy, unorganized, inefficient, and difficult to control. Maybe the “network” churches want it more than the “denominational” churches?

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