I have been thinking about the essence of what church is today. It amazes me how often I have to come back to refocusing what the core and essential nature of the church is. It is so easy to make it a weekly event, a vision, a business, a counseling center, a political party, a training center etc….. But really at its core the church is a relationship carried out with one God and the many that make up Christ’s church as his body and bride.
I really have to sermon for today’s piece. Just the warm thoughts of some mentors I have had that have shaped my core view of church that i sometimes find myself forcible going back to against the grain of all my possible misconceptions.
There are three people who have influenced me greatly in my thinking about the church. I thought I would mention a few and share the major seed they placed in my heart about church.
- Jerry Cook:
* the church is primarily to be a safe place for everyone.
* when you are in the kingdom there is never a period only comma’s when it comes to knowing one another in him. Things are never over or done.
Jerry worked for me (actually with me) for seven years. He was very much ahead of me in his ministry prowess but was always so gracious to follow like a gentleman. He however had one question he would ask me when I shared a new idea would ask, “why do you want to do that?” I most often didn’t have a good answer so we never executed most of my good ideas.
- Jamie Buckingham
* The church is made of funny people and you’ll never make it through church without a sense of humor about it.
* no one is ever a lost cause.
* honest at all times in all places is the foundation of church health no matter how painful it can be. He famously said, “the truth will set you free but first it will beat the hell out of you.”
* he also was fanatical about his belief that the church and it’s leaders should never be ostentatious.
- Roy Hicks Jr.
* Churches that are healthy create new churches.
* Churches are to produce leaders for the work of the ministry.
* The best way to learn ministry was to do ministry.
- Jack Hayford
Pastor Jack Hayford has been a model for me from a distance for many years. Many have learned much from Jack over many decades. Here’s a few things that have stuck with me.
* The church is primarily about worship. Jesus is the center.
* When Jesus is glorified the church has fulfilled it’s purpose.
* One of the great missions of the church is to offer freedom on all levels to people seeking healing and salvation.
Some time I will outline the main books that influence me regularly when it comes to what the church is ad shall be.