Should churches be Spirit or Me centred communities?

Is the church spirit or me centredEarlier this week I was at a conference where the inspirational Lynn Green (the Baptist Union General Secretary) asked us what a Spirit filled community of people looks like. If you are not a churchy person and you are wondering what this means, Spirit filled basically means someone or something that is full of God’s presence.

Our group started talking about how we would be more like Jesus (except hopefully without the sandals and beard!), how we might be more loving and that we would read the Bible enthusiastically and have the help we need to live out what we are reading.

We began to wonder what was stopping churches from being Spirit filled communities and then it dawned on us that lots of churches are full of people who want to be at the centre of them.

Most church leaders will be familiar with ‘me centred’ complaints.

  • The music was too loud for me
  • The music was too quiet for me
  • There were too many songs
  • There weren’t enough songs
  • Your sermon was too complicated
  • Your sermon was too simple
  • No one cares about me (no one has ever complained that there aren’t enough people for them to care for)
  • The service was boring
  • The service was too lively

I could go on.

The problem is that if we place ourselves at the centre of church then there is less room for the Spirit to move and work.

If you think that church is just for you, to meet your needs and to be run according to your preferences then there is less room for the Spirit to work. When we become Christians, we call Jesus our Lord, but in my experience there are lots of people who want to be the Lords (or Ladies) of the church they are a part of.

I wonder what it would look like if we confessed to God that the Church is His, that we are surrendering any control of it and that we are inviting him to fill us with His presence and to lead us?

That would look like a Spirit centred and not a Me centred community and I would like to see more of that!

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About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Baptist Minister who is especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century. I am also a member of the Eastern Baptist Association's Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.
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6 Responses to Should churches be Spirit or Me centred communities?

  1. Judith champion says:

    Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Moya Patel says:

    Let us encourage each other, knowing that our Father
    Is still working on us that we might be a beautiful Bride for
    Jesus when he comes to bring us home.
    May I gently suggest that a public forum may not be the kindest
    Way to criticise each other. The world must love it when we do.
    Heavenly Father please forgive your church for our selfish disregard
    Of each other. We know we need to change and will trust you
    To work in us each day. Thank you for the church !

    Like

    • Hi, in writing this I wasn’t intending to be critical. Rather I want to challenge all of us including myself to make space to become more spirit filled. I thank God that he is still working on us and that he loves us unconditionally.

      Like

  3. That’s fine. I agree that knocking the church doesn’t achieve anything. In fact we need to be encouraged to love the church more. Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

    Like

  4. Pingback: The one about the brother and sister who forgot that they didn’t get on | Honest about my faith

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