We had a thought-provoking discussion Sunday night at my supper club, and I thought I’d get your feedback as well.
“Church” as the organization who makes Sunday mornings happen, must be run as an organization, with process controls, budget constraints, vision conflicts, relationship struggles, etc. But we also know that we as the “Church” are the people who make up the Body of Christ, and for the most part we desire personal relationships, authenticity, and freedom from the “system.” Both aspects of church are necessary. We’re told not to give up meeting together, but to do so – even on a very small scale – requires some assignment of responsibility and planning.
Many times we get frustrated with the politics behind the organization-side of church, and we choose to leave that church or abandon “institutionalized religion.” But leaving is not always the right answer; at some point you have to engage in the difficult process of learning to be in relationships. On the flip side, if we solely focus on our programs and policies or the way we “do” church, we allow the church as an organization to become more about being a well-run, productive organization than about being the Body.
The question we struggled with was how do you as a church (in both senses of the word) maintain a balance between the two?