Sunday, January 22, 2006

What questions about the Church does the Bible address?

I've decided to take a relatively quick trip through the New Testament to see what it has to say specifically about the Church and what she should be.

Questions I've got in mind for God in His word are:

How much is the presence of 'local churches' in Biblical towns culturally conditioned? In other words... Is there a 'church at Ephesus' because having a church at the town level is how God wants things always or is it because the Ephesians didn't have the internet or airplanes? Is the local church a necessary Biblical concept? If so, what is local these days with our sprawling metroplexes and our connectedness across the globe?

Should a believer necessarily give a percentage of income to a church in the local town or is it ok with God for some believers to give all of their contributions in whatever way we see fit across the globe to advance his kingdom?

What will a person miss out on if he is just worshipping at Crowder concerts, reaching out to co-workers, making Christian friends on the internet, studying God's word with Bible Study Fellowship, and serving with any of the numerous relief organizations? Maybe he misses accountability? But is accountability really a good thing? Does accountability make someone hot or does it just usually warm a cold person to lukewarm?

How can we find the level of community and oneness mentioned in John 17 regardless of church style or structure?

How should life coaching or mentoring fit into the Church?

Is the method Paul used to start churches God's way or was it just Paul's way? Trying to discern the roles of apostle, pastor, teacher, elder, deacon, etc in a non-institutional church model.

What about "church discipline" in a more fluid, less structured church? Does a Christ-follower need a solitary person he follows as his pastor and spiritual authority?

What constitutes "not neglecting to meet together" as we are instructed in Hebrews?

Is it mission or love that binds us together as the church? Or is there another combination of the two?

Though I'm currently reading through the New Testament, what does the Old Testament teach us today about these things?

I am NOT looking for any one of you to answer these questions. But I would be VERY INTERESTED in what additional questions about these things (church, church structures, and the growing band of revolutionaries) you would suggest I ask as I read through the Scriptures in coming weeks.


anne jackson said...

I'm a little tired, so I just wanted to say I am looking forward to the discoveries you make on these questions. They are all ones I think about constantly!

kris said...

ok. you're makin my head hurt -- this is waaaaaaay too much for my little brain to handle on a monday morning. seriously, i echo anne's sentiments that these are exactly the kinds of questions rolling thru' my head on an almost daily basis.
so - will you call me when you have 'em all answered...?

nathan said...

I'm always challenged by how you think and so much appreciate your ability to pick me up off my butt into 'loving the Lord my God with all my...mind.' I must say, if I've been challenged on anything in the last year and a half it's knowing what I'm doing is essential to the call on my life as a follower of Christ, period. And that, more lately, has truly helped me to step back and look hard at things, causing me to begin to throw off that which hinders. Isn't it amazing how 'church' can so easily become something that 'hinders'?

Bob said...

Great questions Allen! It's exciting to see so many others have the same questions that have been rolling through my mind for years. As time goes on I'll share what I've learned about these questions on my blog. I am not attempting to answer the questions for you, just share what I've learned and experienced regarding these kinds of things.

steve said...

Looking forward to your discoveries and ideas.