I heard once about a church that went by the name: Nothing Fancy Holiness Church. And it was truly that; the church met in what looked like half a garage. That gets me to wonder: what does the Church look like when it is stripped down to bare essentials? If you had to take away the frills and the extras, what would church involve? If there really were “nothing fancy” about church, what would it look like?
First off, we know that “church” is “people.” No matter the building or the size, church is the people whom God has called together as family to live out his mission — together, and for the sake of the world. The word Paul uses for this in 1 Corinthians 1:2 is “saints.” This means that if you a part of the family of God, His Church, then you are a saint. You may not feel like a saint. You may not always act like a saint. But Paul says you are. We are. Together, the people of God are the saints of God. Despite our failures, foibles, and fumblings. Despite our struggles and sorrows. We are God’s people. And somehow God, in his infinite grace, chooses to use us for His purposes in the world. Despite our weaknesses.
But maybe that’s the point. Because another essential aspect of the Church is that we are rooted in Jesus. And His strength. So perhaps we are at our best when we recognize our weaknesses — and they are many — and trust in the One who calls us, restores us, and sends us out. Broken people, for a broken world, following a Savior who was broken for us.
On January 19 at Fern Creek, we begin a five-week series on the Church: “Foundations: Growing a Church from the Ground Up.” We will look at what the “essentials” are that make a church. We’ll be reminded what church is, no matter where it meets or how big or small it is. And we will be challenged to be the saints we are, rooted in the strength of the One who has saved us.