This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, we continued a series called “Roots” by looking at the nature of the Christian community, the church. Building from the Acts 2 birth of the church at Pentecost, we explore the essence of the community life lived out through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You can watch my message from this past weekend and follow along with the message outline below. You can also engage with the entire series here or download the Eastbrook mobile app for even more opportunities for involvement.
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This coming weekend at Eastbrook Church we begin a new preaching series entitled “Roots: Looking Back and Reaching Forward.” This series is the second of a three-part series related to our 40th anniversary as a church, following on our series, “Power in Prayer.” This is a series celebrating our legacy as a church, and also recalibrating as we head into the future together. We will look back at what God has done in our midst at Eastbrook, while also looking forward to what God is calling us into as a church.
September 7/8 – “Activated by the Holy Spirit”
September 14/15 – “Truly Community”
September 21/22 – “Growing Disciples”
September 28/29 – “Sacrificial Generosity”
October 4/5 – “Worship in the Beauty of Holiness”
In his book A Fellowship of Differents, Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary, unpacks the unfortunate process of folks who idealize Christian community, refusing to make space for the messiness that comes with human relationships. He writes about a common pattern, or process, that we often see when their idealism crashes into the realities of life in the church:
- They read the NT carefully.
- They discover the glories of what the church could, or should, be.
- They start all over again with a vision of the church.
- They experience problems achieving the vision.
- They get discouraged.
- They withdraw from church.
- They start another church with a new-and-improved vision.
- They soon find fewer and fewer like-minded souls.
- They do church at home alone.
The idealism of the church will inevitably lead us to isolation if we do not learn how to deal with our disillusionment with the church. The church is a messy place, but it is a place where we walk together in the grace and truth of God in Christ.
If we are looking for the ideal church, it’s important to remember that it ceases to be ideal the moment we walk into it.