A Liturgy for Family (#647)
A dip into the mailbag finds some questions about dealing with people who feel led by the Spirit to try to drag us back into religious obligation with the infamous fosake-not-the-assembly passage. How do we help people see that our versions of 'church' today have very little in common with how the first century believers gathered? Well, popular blogger and pastor, John Pavlovitz may have done it for you. Wayne reads some excerpts from an article he wrote for Relevant reminding us that the church isn't a place, its the reality of the kingdom showing up where people reflect God's reality. In fact he offers a New Testament liturgy for Jesus' family: gather, eat, share, remember him, live. It's how the kingdom spread in the first century, unmoored from centralized religion.
John Pavlovitz article in Relevant: The Church Was Never Meant to Be a Place
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You have probably addressed this already but I missed it. How do non-corporate church folks attending gatherings get water baptized? Who does it?
Even when I was a pastor we always encouraged the one being baptized to to ask the person who helped them find Christ, or the one who had been most helpful in helping them learn to follow Jesus. Nothing in Scripture reserves that to the clergy. In fact, nothing in Scripture even recognizes clergy! 🙂 This is a priesthood of all believers. Anyone who knows Christ can baptize and it was always more meaningful when someone who was engaged with the person did the baptizing. And we never did it as part of a gathering of the community. We did it in homes and lakes and pools, by inviting people over who know the person and have a baptism, potluck and celebration around it. I love how people who had never baptized before wanted to learn how its done, how to help the baptizee experience the power and life of God in the baptism and it changed their lives. So it was a two-fer!
Corporate worship =
Fellowship? (not usually during the “service.”)
Obligation? (Peer imposed?)
Lately, I’ve been viewing much of Organized Religion as self-imposed sacrifice. Since Adam and Eve, the human race has felt shame and tried to find ways to ingratiate ourselves “back into” God’s favor. All the while, I hear Father just saying, “Guys. I love you. Just be with me.” And we humans keep asking, “Yeah. But what can we do to ‘make it up to you?” I feel like God has been trying to assuage our guilt and shame for all of human-kind’s childhood.
Church (corporate) is just another “sacrifice” we’ve created to ingratiate ourselves.
Sometimes I think it’s about as meaningful to God as those elbow-macaroni necklaces kids make for their parents.
And it’s as meaningful as a relationship builder as attending a sporting event.
Then we debate afterward about how it could’ve been better. (Imagine those kids arguing about using the “right” noodles and colors.)
As I listened to this episode I really wish I had been in the room to add this line of discussion.
Loved the conversation dear Wayne and Brad! By the way, many of those still caught up in institutional ways of doing church would say, “We do that! We ‘gather, eat, share,…’ That’s what our cell group does!” Don’t you guys thing though that the cell/home group too often turns into just a mini service mimicking the mega church’s performance on Sundays?
Of course, but that’s because we are more focused on meetings that friendships. Be-friending people is the way the church grows in the world, and meals and caring are a great venue for that to happen when we’re not obligation minded, but living and sharing love.
This podcast touched a questionI have been having over several years now.
So, in many cases, a pastor type is telling people that they need to be in church. The pastor type says that they were “led by the spirit” to push that agenda. We (us God Journeyers) are of the mind that we know/think that it couldn’t be the case because Hebrews doesn’t say that.
So the Bible also doesn’t actually define what we (our culture) thinks a pastor type is. The club/church model says that they are “following the Bible”. The club congregants think that they are doing what the bible teaches. They think that they are being led by the spirit too. But it doesn’t seem to be that way.
So, when a pastor type says that they were “Called” into a position that isn’t real. What is up with that?
Back in my performance days, a friend was killed in a car accident leaving 2 young children and his wife. It was my “wake up call” to get serious, so I “knew”, because of what I was taught by my not-really-called pastor type that if you wanted to be serious about “the christian life”, you would drop your nets and follow. Full time service… So I started to look into going to seminary.
I then met a guy that supports pastor types that have been run over, worn out, hurt, etc. He told me, “If you can do anything else, DO NOT become a pastor.” I am glad that God put me next to him at that event. That was a pivotal time on my journey.
So my question… What gives with all of the pastor types that were not really called to being something that isn’t real? Are any of us really “Called” to anything, or is God just working the the pressures that come from our culture that we think are callings?
Looking forward to the thoughts of you other journeyers…
Jeff, I just had this conversation with some folks the other day. I asked them when does a “pastor” become a pastor? When he gets a job offer to be a “pastor”. And what happens when he’s fired/quits? Is he still a pastor? Do people still go around saying “Hey there Pastor Bob”? Nope! Why? Because he no longer holds that position. I led worship and was a youth minister for years. No one ever called me “Worship Leader Ken”, or “Youth Minister Ken”. It’s funny, at these churchy places in which I “served”, those positions were considered just that, positions. Nothing more, nothing less. Only the role of “pastor” was a calling from God. Oh they might pat you on the rear and tell you how well you were fulfilling your “calling” if you performed well, but if things ever went south, you were completely disposable, and that magical calling meant little.
Not gonna quote a bunch of scriptures here, but in my opinion, the Bible makes it fairly clear we are all saints, and all called to share the good news. God may have given different giftings to different individuals, but we are all players, and no one has to warm the bench. Ephesians 4 is kicked around a lot when it comes to “callings”, but to me, this is obviously speaking of specific giftings, not positions.
Just my thoughts brother! Could be I missed my calling, and got this all wrong…:)