Undeniably, technology has accomplished some amazing things over the years. Medical advancements, transportation and communications revolutions, exponential increases in information access, etc. But, for all our collective cleverness and technological advancement, we've not yet *legitimately* conceived a way for the Church to BE the people of Jesus in the absence of the primary, necessary ingredient of living, breathing relationship with other... people.
Not to say we haven't tried, though.
Just this past week, an American mega-multisite church announced with great fanfare the launch of their newest "location". Not in Nashville. Not in Houston. Not in Boston. Not in ANY city, in fact, but in ( wait for it )... an APP. Unable to keep pace with nationwide demand for their brand, this church announced that their newest global "location" would be, "The phone in the palm of your hand." Church, as app. Church, "in the palm of your hand." I'll admit, that's catchy. It does have a certain ring to it.
No, friends. The Church may be many things, and take myriad forms in the world. But an individualized, palm-sized, digital, excarnate, bourgeois, value-added, social-media, spiritual consumer experience it is not. Please make no mistake on this: the only person who will EVER hold the Church in the palm of his hand is the Lord Jesus Christ, himself. The Church is OUR context, not vice-versa.There is simply no such thing as "Church" in the absence of the messiness of life, together. There is no church in the absence of a living, breathing, sacrificial LOCALITY. In the end the Church is LOCAL, or it is not, at all. It is perilous to imagine it could be otherwise.
Here with The Commons, we take our locality very seriously. We believe deeply that "church" can never properly be reduced to an event, program, building, experience... or app. We understand that the Church is a PEOPLE, a movement of God's Spirit in the world, made FLESH in the self-giving love of those who would follow after Jesus, praying and living his now-and-coming Kingdom into reality. Our aim is to see the "location" of the Church multiply into every crack and crevice and people group in our region; not digitally, but personally, as living, breathing followers of Jesus are gifted, called and sent into the world to reach, love and serve those whom the Spirit would make them neighbor.
And so, appropriately, this coming TABLE Sunday, the local churches of The Commons will meet throughout our region in the cities, neighborhoods and people groups to which they have been called for a time of shared meals, scripture study, and prayer for one another. For those who are new to our community or not otherwise connected with a TABLE group, our CENTER TABLE is available to you! We meet at the Rochester Hill campus of Grace Community Church, 159 Rochester Hill Rd., 10:00am, and we would be blessed to have you join us.
Come, and see! Come, and BE the Church, with us.