I love the partnership I have been able to have with Catalyst Conferences. I enjoyed blogging from there earlier this month. (You can read my posts HERE.) One of the things I love most about Catalyst is that I’ve met many of the people behind the scenes. They are authentic, transparent, and passionate about Christ and helping the church better reach a lost world.
Jesse Phillips is one of those guys. I’ve had several opportunities to hang out with him and I absolutely love Jesse’s heart. He has some passionate ideas about the church today. I think one of the thing my generation needs to do a better job with is listening to his generation. So, recently I asked him to guest post some of his current thoughts on the church here on my blog. (Help Jesse process by commenting on this post.)
HERE is a guest post from Jesse Phillips of Catalyst:
What if we did church like this:
What if we got a group together on Sunday morning. We’d pool our money – maybe up to half of what we would have tithed that morning. We’d ask around, share needs we knew of, and that morning we would use the money and our time to meet needs around our community.
Maybe we’d buy a new washer for a single mom. Maybe we’d fix a fence. Maybe clean-out gutters for an elderly couple, throw a party for the neighborhood or just go around and pray for people. The more often we did this, the more we’d know people in the community, where to look for needs, and more people would come to us with needs.
Then, that afternoon, what if we got together at someone’s house (or a facility) and had a potluck meal. We could all hang-out, enjoy one another, and encourage one another. Then, after we eat, gather those gifted to teach, preach, prophesy, etc and have a church meeting.
I like this idea for a few reasons:
It engages the community. The unchurched often criticize Christians for not doing much for those around them. Imagine if 10 Million Christians were weekly (or monthly) serving & loving their neighbors in a public fashion. We would be acting as the hands & feet of Jesus in an undeniable way.
It utilizes money to help those in need. Another criticism the unchurched have of Christians is: “they just want my money.” By using our resources to serve them in a significant & regular way, we could fulfill God’s call to take care of those in need while presenting a more Christ-like picture to our neighbors, and removing unnecessary stumbling blocks.
It’s a regular outreach to unchurched people. Not only are you engaging people in need, but you’re also inviting outsiders to join your work party. Many Christians are living in the “Christian Bubble.” This kind of regular engagement with outsiders gives them an opportunity to meet and make friends – creating further opportunities for relationship and eventually, discipleship.
The potluck meal afterward is a natural transition to invite people to “come and see” your community. Also, sharing a meal with other Christians is a great opportunity to share life & fellowship – much like the “love feasts” of the early church. (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_feasts)
Utilizes Pew Sitters. This strategy gets everyone involved. Many Christians are content to sit, hear & pay the tithe. Most ministry work is delegated/entrusted to the paid “professionals.”
Engaging the community as a team teaches Christians how to love their neighbor, empowers them by giving them money to do it, let’s them be creative, possibly let’s them use their gifts to solve problems, protects them from the perils of Matthew 25, and trains them toward a lifestyle of service & generosity.
What do you think? Why is this a good idea? Why is it a bad idea? Grace & Peace to you!