But, check this out - its from the book I Knew Jesus Before He Was a Christian, and I liked Him Better Then, by Rubel Shelley:
So long as church is a place or a series of events on certain days and at certain times, it will continue to have minimal-to-decreasing influence for changing the world. It will continue to create unhealthy dependence by the many on the few and preserve our focus on externals as measurements of Christian life and maturity.
To the contrary, if wee could rid ourselves of the debilitating effects of institutionalized religiosity - which has passed for Christianity over the past 1700 years - and enter the experience of God's life-giving presence in Christ, EVERYTHING (emph added) would change. As the authentic body of Christ in the world, such a church would turn the world upside down again. The medium would become the message of rescue and renewal.
Church would not be something to "do" but would be experienced as who Christ's followers are everywhere, with everybody, all the time. Worship would no longer be a place to "go" but would be the offering of our bodies as living sacrifices. Our outreach would not be a "program" but would be touching people with acceptance, love, and nurture that honors and imitates Jesus himself.What do you think? How are you doing at this? Does your life, my life, reflect a heavenly DNA, or are we just playing church?
This book is really challenging me to examine myself, my motives, my life, in light of Jesus, and not the expectations of others. I would love to read through this book with a couple other folks if any of you are interested, its a really good eye-opener!
Peace in Christ,