Sunday, April 11, 2010

Moving Together

Choosing to live close to other members of our Church is a different way of thinking. For most western Christians, choosing a church is a totally separate decision from choosing a place to live. When choosing a church, we look for one with a pastor and style that will we like. When choosing where to live, we look for a good capital gain or the best schooling for our children. Choosing to live in the same locality as our Church is a radical idea.

Those living in better suburbs might need to move to a less desirable area, where the entire Church can afford to live. They would be following the example of Jesus, who left his place in heaven and came to earth, for the sake of the church. This “incarnational attitude” would counteract the “home in the suburbs” idol that dominates much of the western world.

We are called to be the body of Christ where we live, so living within a short walk of the rest of the Church should become a normal part of Christian discipleship. This will require a much higher level of commitment, but being a Christian changes how we live, so why should it not change where we live?

If those starting a new Church focus their evangelistic efforts on the location where they live, most new converts will not need to move, as they will already live close to the rest of the Church. Converts from outside the neighbourhood should be encouraged to move nearer, or helped to find a Church closer to where they live. Only the people starting the new Church would need to change location.

Moving to one location may not be practical for all Christians. The disruption caused by so many people moving house or changing church might not be worth the effort. However, living in the same location should become normal.

Modern Christians drive to church.
The early believers were all together.

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