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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Christianity as a fishbowl

I really like being a Christian. It gives me purpose, a foundation on which to base my life.

I really like gathering together with a group of believers each Sunday (and throughout the week) to share life needs and grow together in Christ. I like the "church" in the sense of the word meaning the people of God.


As a leader in the Kingdom, the past few years I have really struggled not with Christianity, but with "churchianity" or getting so wrapped up in the "business" of "doing" church that we forget that we are to "be the church" as well.

We as Christians have code words that "outsiders" can't understand. "I'm saved." Saved from what? "We really had church today". What does that mean. Does that mean that God suddenly decided to show up? Isn't God present every time we meet?
"We are here to reach the lost". Lost from what?

I would suggest that we need to keep our focus on Christ.

I don't ever want to be so focused on the business of the church that I forget Christ.

I don't ever want to be so focused on the ministry that I forget Christ.

I don't ever want to be so focused on budgets, and calendars and constitutions of the church that I forget Christ.

It's all about Christ.

Budgets, calendars and constitutions are necessary (I think) but it's all about Christ.

I was reading this week that there is a Chinese proverb that states, "never ask a goldfish what water is like."

Think about that for a moment. Let's use that as a metaphor (as Ralph Neighbour states) for the church.

He suggests that in this generation the American church is a private goldfish bowl, fully isolated from its surroundings.

He writes, "when fish stare into the glass walls of their bowl, they see only their mirrored reflection. They cannot see the world outside."

Being a "churched Christian" can be like living in a goldfish bowl if we are not careful....and....we can begin to think that our comfortable environment is the only one that is needed....and...we become blind to how really different and foreign we look to outsiders peering through the glass and murky water.

How do non-churched people really view us? And have we become so comfortable with our surroundings that we forget our true priorities?

Let's break out of our fishbowl and concern ourselves with our true mission - to love God, love people and serve others.

Just a thought

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