I've been thinking a lot the last couple weeks about the forms of Christianity that we teach in the church. Perhaps I've given something away even in my description because if the emphasis in "church" is on "teaching" then the form we use primarily is information transmission. This doesn't mean we don't connect with people and other things aren't done; just that we view the primary reason for gathering is to transmit information about the bible.
The idea is, if you know more about the bible, you should be a better Christian. But the result is often very different from this.
I've been thinking through these ideas with others on Facebook and Twitter. Why is it that we seem to treat our Christianity as a checklist rather than a relationship--with Christ and others? Why do we view our relationship with God not as a true relationship but as a list of things we must do or a set of requirements we need to fulfill?
Why do we wait for others to take the initiative? Why don't we really connect with each other away from the church building?
Jesus said, "I did not come to be served, but to serve" (Matt. 20:28). We are called to be followers of Jesus. A follower, well, follows! So we should be doing the same things Jesus did.
If Jesus did not seek to be served BY others, why do many of us? Why do we criticize the minister or someone else for not visiting us when we never bothered to pick up the phone or make an appointment to spend time with someone else?
Jesus served others. He added value to the lives of others. The best question we can ask ourselves is not how we can fill a building with people, or how we can get others to do what we want them to do, or how we can make sure the minister "does his job."
The best question we can ask ourselves, to be a true follower of Jesus, is:
Who can I love right now? And how?
That's what it means to follow Jesus.