“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”-1 Corinthians 13:3
We have a bible study meeting on Sunday nights at my house with several adults. It’s been a great sense of community and discussion.
We have been discussing 1 Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, Paul discusses the idea of unity in the body of Christ. He challenges the Church in Corinth to agree with each other. He wanted to encourage them to realize that their faith isn’t built around the people who are teaching them or the people who baptized them, but their faith is centered in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The reality is, we find parts of our church that we enjoy, like the music or preaching, and if we aren’t careful we can begin to worship those elements. The main focus of the letter, especially this section, is to bring the focus back to Jesus and not our own human thoughts.
The discussion led us to the question, “What would a Church that is fully Christ centered look like?”
We didn’t fully answer that question, but some thoughts were shared. So, I am going to share five things the group felt a Christ centered church would look like.
- WELCOMING- A church that is missing this elements missing a key part of Jesus’ ministry. When Jesus interacted with people, they were welcomed in with love and peace. He even welcomed people who were not necessarily welcomed by others. This is an example for the church today. Open your hearts and your arms to all who are willing to step through the doors. No labels. No judgment. Just a desire to know who they are, embrace their story, and invite them to be in a community of Christ followers.
- GENUINE- A church that is willing to be open with their congregation will be more welcoming. A church with people who are able to be honest about failure and open to discuss hard issues will open the door for people to seek out genuine faith. The church cannot expect to influence lives by speaking surface level principals, but they can help people discover a deeper relationship with Christ by teaching heart penetrating truth.
- SERVING- A church that ignores moving beyond its walls is not fulfilling its purpose. Christ created the Church to move throughout the world and influence their communities. A church that chooses to only serve themselves is selfish and is doing their community an injustice. The communities the Church is present in is longing for the parts of the body to be involved in their pain and struggle. Inside the doors, the outside world is closed off and people can ignore what is happening in the world. Yet, when they leave the building, they re-renter the real lives of those in search of hope. Churches need to be serving the way Christ served all He came into contact with in truth and love.
- UNITED- Jesus told His followers that the world would know they were His people by their love. Love is united and does not separate. Love never fails and will continue to move people forward. A community of faith that is divided, opens the door for the enemy to infiltrate the world around them and hinder the spread of the gospel. A church that lives United together can serve others with joy, be genuine with each other because they know nothing will separate them, and they will welcome anyone to join in the journey of faith.
When the church rises to the occasion and begins to embrace these principles, perhaps more people would be interested in being a part of the body of Christ.
May the Church see their responsibility to demonstrate love to the world. May we serve with genuine intentions and welcome those who are interested in discovering their connection with our Creator.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What are ways you see the Church being different in the world?