Dr Erwin W Lutzer, Senior Pastor, The Moody Church here in Chicago has been preaching from 1 Corinthians 12-14 on the theme "A Passion for the Church."
It has been very informative, very inspiring, and very edifying.
Having been part of the "church" since I was only 6 years old, I feel that I can write and speak with some degree of credibility and experience on what it means to "be the Church."
It seems that everyone is up in arms about how we "do church"....worship styles, preaching methods, assimilation techniques, evangelism programs....ad infinitum.
But how many of us really think about how to "be the Church" to each other, and to a watching world that pays more attention to us than we are ready to admit?
What does it mean to "be the Church" in 2006?
I have some ideas, and I don't think they are too far off-base at all:
1) It means that we get to the place where "great grace is upon them all..." (Acts 4:33).
2) To "be the Church" today means that we are more concerned about being a "community of faith" instead of just a "collection of individuals."
3) "Being the Church" means that we are less concerned with our "power struggles" and how much "authority" we may have...and more concerned with how God is forming us for His glory, so that He can fill us with His power for His purposes.
4) To "be the Church" means that we give people "due process." We protect those we like, and those we may not be so fond of...and we do it with an openness and evenhandedness that favoritism can never become part of the equation.
5) To "be the Church" means that we become people of God's Word. We study it, live it, rightly divide it, and hide it in our hearts.
So what does it mean to be the Church, in your opinion?