Vision leaks... no doubt. Restating God's plan for living & how God is shaping those who join Him helps us remember and clarify the stuff that really matters.
So... Let's remember that the institutions, titles, organizational structures, and buildings that are commonly mistaken for "church" are all merely impersonal entities... "things", if you will. Real "church" isn't an impersonal thing but a family. Christ-followers are a family that's united by God’s Spirit & by the relationships we build with one another. And while we're all different, we're also kind of all the same... just like any other family.
And not only are we a family, we’re also a family with a mission. That makes us partners on a team, God’s team. Our team mission is to receive the overflowing life Jesus gives and bring that life to everyone we can reach. Contrary to what a lot of people think, we’re not defined by lists of rules or weekly meetings, although frequent gatherings are pretty common for us. Some people get caught up in that; but really, our family is defined by our leader, Jesus, & His mission to redeem the world. We're a missional community set on loving this dying world back to life. That's why we’re so committed to the ever-increasing cycle of gathering, growing, and going... because we love each other; we care about this world; and we want to succeed at the work Jesus called us to.
So in a sense, we’re a family of missionaries, bringing our relationship with Jesus into the culture around us. Yeah, we gather and worship and learn and encourage each other; but more importantly, we’re in each other’s homes, in the homes of our unbelieving neighbors, in cafes & bars, at parks, & at community events... meeting new people, building real friendships, & bringing the Jesus we love into those friendships. We also travel a lot, constantly going into other places to discover where people are & how we might be able to help them. Together, we're Christ’s own body, doing life together as a connected and fully connecting people... and finishing the work He's given us.
Wow! Now that's worth remembering!