Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Invite People To Church?

Is it Biblical to invite people to church?

It is common today to hear Christians encouraging each other to invite people to church.

But I find it interesting that I can't find an example in the Bible of Christians inviting people to church.

In fact, searches for "to church", "at church", "our church", "after church" come up empty.

I wonder if the early church had a different way of sharing Jesus with others that didn't have inviting them to church near the top of the list.

Doesn't this seem strange? I'd love to hear your thoughts on why? Or am I missing something?

BTW: I don't conclude something is wrong just because I can't find it in the Bible. I think Sunday mornings can be one of many times and places to meet with the church. I just question if the event, building or organization should be called church.

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Anonymous said...

If you invite them into your life, anytime and anywhere, it is like inviting them to church.

Because having them focus on Christ (who IS the church, and that is who you are inviting them to) is like having them focusing on each other (because each other ARE the church).

I know.. my grammar is terrible. Not enough coffee this morning.

Steve Fletcher said...

Very interesting... thought provoking. We do find people invited to something in the Bible, but what is it. We invite them to know Christ? We invite them to receive Christ as Savior? aNYONE WHO BECOMES A FOLLOWER OF cHRIST AND IS BORN AGAIN AUTOMATICALLY BECOME A part of the church, don´t they? good thoughts Jon.

Jonathan said...

Thanks for the comments. Yes Steve I believe those who follow Christ are part of Christ's Church. I see church ekklēsía in Scripture referring to believers, and whenever they get together.

I have no doubt believers invited outsiders to come over for a meal, or even to come listen to Paul when he came to town.

But yes, I think the focus was on sharing Jesus with others.

Church was who they were, not what they did or where they went on Sunday morning....

OK.. I'll get down from my pulpit now. I'd love to hear what others think.

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

You bible people are crazy :(

Jonathan said...

Thanks for the anonymous crazy comment. I agree. I think most people have a bit of crazy going on. I think God has a good sense of humor. :)

M.Humphries said...

Hi Jon

Maybe this is a safe way to plug my blog:)

I've come to the conclusion that the church is always a cultural reality, therefore there is no right type of church. In Canadian culture we like big events that help us survive winter. Large church gatherings are a construct that works for some, but I agree it's always important to remember people are more important than structures..

Jonathan said...

Hi Mark, thanks for the comment. I'll check out your blogs some too.

I find it interesting to consider what church ekklēsía meant to people in the New Testament, and what it means to people today.

I find it interesting that Christians often say things like:
"I believe in separation of church and state."
"Bob and Mary became recently became members of our church."
"There are many opportunities to serve in our church."
"The United Church has a different attitude towards homosexuality than the Baptist Church."
As you refer to there being no right type of church.

In these examples the term church is referring to an organization of some sort.

Other times the term church refers to a location or building:
"I'll pick you up at the church parking lot."
"We live across from the church on main street near the river."
"They wanted to be married in a church."

Other times it seems to refer to an event at a specific time:
"I didn't see you at church yesterday?"
"What time is church?"
"Do you want to go to the park after church?"
"Mary sang a solo at church."
Or... the concept of inviting people "to church".

From what I can tell church ekklēsía in the New Testament simply meant believers and whenever they got together. It did not refer to structured organizations, locations, buildings, or a specific weekly event.

As I am trying to view church as people, I am finding it is easier to love and serve that church again.