Doing church….

first century churchI realize it’s been a while since we’ve tried to get organized and do anything together.  It’s not you, it’s me.  All we’ve wanted these past few years out of a community was to find a group of people who looked like the picture of the church we see in the first century, a healthy blend of loving, apocalyptic, apostolic, persecuted, worshiping, liturgical, disorganized starry eyed believers.  They’re not  necessarily a group of people I’d feel really comfortable being around for an extended period of time, me with my 21st century American privileged lackadaisical attitude towards spiritual matters with a proclivity towards personal comfort and privacy.  Its not that the churches around here are wrong, there is some really extraordinary ministry going on, and there’s some of them whom we love deeply and already have great relationships with.  But, especially after the arrival of our daughter, I’ve been very picky about what I want to see modeled for her, and what I want her to experience is something as close as we can get to what we read about in the book of Acts, a first century church experience.  Personally, I prescribe to the theory that nothing significant happens to a person developmentally after the age of four, and if thats the case I’ve really felt like we had to get on the ball and find the right place for Séraphine before we miss that window.  Our list of demands is exhaustive and exhausting, and tends to fluctuate from week to week about what is really important, and as we’ve traveled and visited an extraordinary cross section of churches, small groups, Bible studies, fellowships, missional communities, and the like, we’ve seen nearly the same template in place in each.  Once again, I reiterate, it’s not that the 21st century church model is wrong, it just doesnt resemble anything that I see demonstrated in the documents we have describing the Church in the first century.  That ragtag group of multicultural hunted families with their revolutionary beliefs who met in each others homes, shared meals, and provided for each other, prayed for miraculous outcomes, and saw their monumental faith rewarded didn’t have a building with a lighted marquee, electrified bands on stage with amplified preachers, youth group leaders, “worship” teams, boards of directors, powerpoint presentations, and a “big show” on Sunday mornings.  The first century church had what I want, an authentic relationship with the maker of the universe, and a peculiar notion that the empire they resided in was not their home.  Maybe i’ll find that at one of the mega churches popping up like Starbuck across the street from every McDonalds, but there are a lot more of them i’ll need to visit first.  Until then, I might have to just try and do it myself, as flawed and disorganized as I am.  So we’ll meet again this Sunday, May 10 from 1:00pm to 2 pm at the Nature Park on 270 1220 Egret Bay Blvd., N., League City, TX 77573, and we’ll have the opportunity to do it all wrong together.