Multi-Ethnic Church : Defining Church pt.2

The longer I reflect upon my summaries of what church is to different people the more I want to yell at the top of my lungs one statement.
The fact of the matter is that all the differing views of church are correct views. To live only in one of those views is to be one sided within the complex structure of what the Gospel is to look like when lived out. In shorter terms to live out only one of those views is to take an aspect of the church to excess thus making the view wrong.  So how do we harmonize the views together? Simple, “Preach the Word.” 

Church is a God experience – Acts 2:43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles…praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Many of our brethren desperately seek to get an experience. This is not different from the New Testament, except in the N.T. the God experience was brought about by the Gospel, then Worship followed. When we worship the Lord through the Word, we can’t help but worship the Lord through song, dance, art, prayer or whatever means you experience God through.  If you don't relate to those who attend church for a God experience please do not look down upon those who want a God experience on Sunday morning. 

“The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God.” - C. S. Lewis 

Church is a place of Learning – God designed the church as a place where spiritual leaders could watch out for our welfare, as a shepherd guards the sheep. They watch out for you through teaching the Word. Hebrews 13:17, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” ;  1 Peter 5:1-3 “So I exhort the elders among you,…shepherd the flock of God that is among you, …but be an examples to the flock.” Sadly many people don’t know what good preaching and teaching is, therefore they look only for “meaningful worship.” There is a needed two fold response. 1. Make sure that only gifted preachers and teachers are doing the preaching and teaching. 2. If you are a preaching / teaching minded church body, do not neglect the opportunity to worship and rejoice in the Word for the day! Not responding to the Word is to not reply to a love letter … It is simply foolish.

Church is the Center of Community – As we consider the centrality of the church in our lives, we must remember if Christianity is true then it must be of infinite importance. The only thing Christianity can’t be is moderately important.” - C.S. Lewis. Most of the time a church is visited as often as the gas station (only when we need more gas). Reality is that we’re constantly on empty and in need of Spiritual fuel. We get fuel not just from hearing the Word taught, but also from serving, receiving encouragement and living out our Spiritual responsibility. I Corinthians 12 we all have spiritual gifts and they aren’t for your glory ! 1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 

·         We are to comfort one another (I Thessalonians 4:18)

·         build up one another (I Thessalonians 5:11)

·         confess our sins to one another (James 5:16)

·         pray for one another (James 5:16)

·         Daily build one another up – (Acts 2:42, Hebrews 3:13)

It is impossible to obey these directives if we only meet once or twice a week other believers. If you don't like being involved and active then remember. "The church is not a dormitory for sleepers, it is an institution for workers; it is not a rest camp, it is a front line trench." – Billy Sunday. If you only look to the church for community, I'd encourage you to remember that community is only possible because of Christ. Rejoice in the teaching, and rejoice in the worship. 

Church is our Duty- Some would think immediately that this is a ridiculous view of church, but honestly it is also right. Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. If for no other reason you begin to be involved in a church, Hebrews 10:25 is a beautiful example of a “God Said So Law.” Differently than our friends who hold the “duty” view, Scriptures paints the picture that it is our duty to be a part of the body of Christ. This doesn’t just mean Sunday morning, but daily building one another up.

Remember as I said at the beginning. A Gospel church is to reflect all the above attributes. But to live only in one view is to live in direct disobedience of how the church is to look. 
Keep in mind your personal definition does not align with everyone’s cultural difference, so you must learn to accommodate ideals if you are to have a successful multi-ethnic ministry. So what do you do when you don’t like someone else’s view or difference of style?

-          Pray – beg God to produce the true Obedience and Gospel in us.

-          Pray on behalf of all ethnicities to receive understanding of differences.

-          Meditate on the Cross – Eph. 4:32

-          Beg for a greater knowledge of the Word.

-          Meditate on Heaven that our relationships will be perfect. 

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