Thursday, December 05, 2013

Going to the movies rather than going to the gym

This is a great video by Francis Chan, not sure how I missed it before. I wanted to share it hear along with (shocker!) some thoughts about what he says.

I agree with the initial question Francis poses. When you peel away as many of the assumptions as possible and just look at Scripture and what it says about church, what you get is not what we are used to. I think it is an important exercise for every Christian to read the New Testament and gather everything it says about the church. When you do that, and I really need to do that again, I agree with the facets of the church that Francis talks about: loving each other like a family, on fire to take the Gospel to the world, the focus was on the communion meal and that the church met to equip the church.

I loved the analogy that Francis uses later in the video, the idea of church being more like going to a movie theater than going to the gym. However you spin it, most gatherings that Christians go to on a weekly basis end up being far more observational than participatory. You might get a lot of information but are you really being prepared and equipped? Think about it like this. I can watch a documentary film about weightlifting and learn a lot about methods, theories and practices of bodybuilders but that doesn't mean I can bench press 300 pounds. You have to go to the gym for that, you have to put in the time and effort, the sweat and the blood. You may know all there is to know about bodybuilding and still not be able to open a jar of pickles.

The church is the same way. I can go to church and learn a lot about Christianity and never really get equipped to be a Christian beyond the "not going to hell" stage. We should be learning by participating in the gathering and by observing other, more mature Christians engaged in the work of ministry. That is the primary purpose of elders. The reason we don't do that because the guys we dump all of the work of ministry on are mostly busy with preparing sermons that don't equip us anyway.

It is odd to me that so many people were critical of Francis Chan when he stepped away from professional, vocational ministry. I think he gets it on a lot of issues and he is one of the more important voices in the church. Anyway, check out the video, I think you will like it!


C said...

Great stuff from Francis! Thanks for sharing this, Arthur. I had not seen it before.

Arthur Sido said...

Me either Chuck, I can't believe I never ran across it until now!