Rob starts out this chapter with the story of an interesting vision. He then reminds us of the truth that the church is not the building. He also reminds us it is made up of imperfect people. I love the illustration he uses to convey this idea:
When the church first began on earth, the pastor was being executed as a criminal; the chairman of the board was out cursing and swearing that he had never even been a part of it. The treasurer was committing suicide. Most of the rest of the board members had run away. And about the only ones who showed any signs of faithfulness were a few ladies from the women's auxiliary.
It is good to remind ourselves that God uses flawed people.
Morgan continues by sharing the origins of the church from the book of Acts. He arrives at this definition for the church:
"A church then, is a group of people committed to Jesus Christ who are bound together by the indwelling influence of the Holy Spirit."
In describing what our church is like, Rob speaks of Big Church and Small Church. (I can't help but thinking of Children's church whenever we use this terminology.) Rob uses "the temple" in Acts 2:46 as an example of "Big Church." This is where we gather together to sing and pray and preach. He uses the phrase "house to house" as an example of "Small Church." Small church is where friendships develop and burdens are shared.
I'm not really sure how much "Big Church" there was in the early church. But I do think we should get together to sing, preach and pray. Morgan uses the Great Commandment as another way to break down the big and small of church. Love God is a "Big Church" idea. It's about going vertical. Love your neighbor is a "Small Church" idea. It's about going horizontal. I'm not sure if the Jesus Creed was really meant to be taken this way. We should be loving God in "Small Church" and loving our neighbor in "Big Church" too.
I do think that this was an excellent opportunity to remind those beginning in the faith that church is both vertical and horizontal.
Next Up - Discipleship.