“Your experience of the church is usually a direct result of your
definition of the church.” — Darrin Patrick
This week, after being let go from my role as teaching pastor of my church, I was shocked, confused and blindsided to say the least. Even though it has been painful to have to quickly untangle myself from all aspects of my work at the church, I still have the desire to go to church Sunday. No, that isn’t accurate; I have a strong desire to be the church on Sunday.
Knowing this I asked myself, “Is there a church community that I could go to and be the church?” I have been to about 30 churches in our town, so I can’t say I don’t know where to go. But late last night as I was contemplating my future (Sunday is as far as I have gotten), I had an idea.
What if a group of people spent four weeks in an experiment of actually trying to be the church — not trying to be a certain church, a certain model of church or a denominational reflection of church, but a collection of Christ-followers from different churches seeking to understand what God wants for his church?
My intent is not to interfere with other churches and their communities in any way. I want to challenge people’s expectations and experiences of church for a few weeks in order to have them go back to their churches with a renewed vision and understanding of being the church.
What if some friends, families and hopefully total strangers joined in this experiment? What if we made it conversational, experiential and practical? What if we reset expectations by doing away with words like judgmental, exclusionary, hypocritical and replaced them with truthful, gracious and shared?
So, for the next four weeks I am leading a discussion about the nature of the church, in my backyard.
“Backyard Church.” Here is the schedule:
Sunday August 18 at 5-7pm- The Practices of the Early Church
Sunday August 25 at 5-7pm- The Nature of Jesus and the Nature of the Church
Sunday September 1 at 5-7pm- Jesus Builds the Church
Sunday September 8 at 5-7pm- The Mission of the Church
Each week bring a Bible, a blanket, sunscreen and food/drinks to feed you/your family plus two people. Join us as we share life, share a conversation and have a shared meal.
33 East Weaver Place, Littleton CO 80121