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The Hope Project, Costa Rica.

February 3, 2021.

 


 

I remember it like it was yesterday. We sat in our weekly discipleship class at the Hope Project in San Jose, Costa Rica. The topic was “Kingdom Culture & The Biblical Church”.

I was intrigued. The Church has been big on my heart since the beginning of my Race, and I feel that at around this time was when the Lord really started solidifying some things about it in my heart and in my spirit. I’ve been learning a lot, and I wanted to come and consolidate that all into one place. 

Before you read on, know that some of this may be challenging or frustrating to read. I ask that as you go forward, you read with an open mind and an open heart. Much of what I mention in this blog challenged me and the way I view the Church. Know that I am still learning a lot and figuring out a lot. I’m not coming to any definite conclusions about this topic, either. More just throwing out some food for thought that I’ve been chewing on for some time.

Here’s a potent, fearless statement: 

 

Church Culture has created traditions that we identify as commands but are not actually biblical. 

 

Yeah, we’re getting right into it. Take some time to process. I had to do the same. The more I thought about it, the more I thought about things we do in the church that aren’t necessarily God’s commands.

Things like: dressing formally for church, the order in which church services are laid out, age-based ministry, where and when we meet, how baptisms are done, even the way we structure worship. 

These traditions are not inherently bad, in any way whatsoever. But could it be that they have put a cap on how we view and experience Christ and the Holy Spirt? Could it be that there is more?

I think that we have taken some biblical concepts and morphed them into traditions that have caused us to lose sight of the true heart of what Church is. 

In the discipleship class, we laid out some of God’s commands based on the Bible that bring us back to those roots: 

  1. Love God with all your heart, strength, soul, and mind. 
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself. 
  3. Make disciples.
  4. Repent.
  5. Pray.
  6. Get baptized. 
  7. Take communion. 
  8. Teach the word. 
  9. Be the Church (live as the Church, serve together, gather together). 

 

I read Letters to the Church by Francis Chan a couple months ago. Great book. 10/10 would recommend. It also challenged the way I see the Church and what it is, even down to where we meet, when we meet, and the size of our gatherings. 

I’m reminded of the church described in Acts 2:

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

They were devoted. They were meeting together daily, in their homes. They were praying together, eating together, and had everything in common. What? 

Church was their life. They were the Church. 

I’m starting to think church isn’t a one or two day a week type of thing, what about you? 

It’s fellowship, it’s doing life together, it’s having everything in common. 

 


 

Read on for part 2, where I talk about what this has looked like tangibly in my World Race community.