A buddy of mine blogged recently about church.  Here’s what he wrote:

“Last night, I checked out a local church in the area. It was refreshing to go some place new and see how another group “does church.” My friend asked me afterward how I liked it, and I told him that it was good, but church services generally don’t impress or disappoint me. What I’m interested in is how they do community. Most people who consider themselves serious Christians attend church in some form, but how many really have a significant experience in community? Most of us are yearning for more authentic fellowship without understanding how to get there…

…I’m seeing that this kind of re-imagining of church is becoming more the “norm” in the lives of Christ-followers who are wanting to go deep in their faith…”

Click here to read the rest of his thoughts on this.


Tony Campolo once threw a birthday party for a prostitute in Honolulu (their paths crossed in a diner late one night where he overheard that the next day was her birthday and that she had never had a birthday party; so he threw her a suprise party the next night).  Harry (who owned the diner where the party was being held) asked Campolo what kind of church he went to.  Campolo responded:

“The kind of church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30am,” to which Harry responded, “…there’s no church like that.  If there was I’d join it.”  

“That’s the kind of church Jesus came to create,” Campolo writes, “I don’t know where  we got the other one that’s so prim and proper. But anyone who reads the New Testament knows that Jesus loved to lavish grace on the left-out and the used-up and the put-down.  The sinners loved him because he partied with them.  The lepers of society found in him someone they could eat and drink with.”  (The Kingdom of God is a Party

This story illustrates a common problem in churches today: we’re not acting like Jesus intended and people, like Harry, are tired of churches that are more concerned about being proper than acting like Christ would. 

I often struggle with what the church should look like and how we could do things differently to be more like what Jesus would want us to be, which has led me to a conclusion about the church.  

It, like any other human institution, is bound to fail.  

Sounds hopeless, right?  How do we fix it?

Maybe we should start by throwing a birthday party for a prostitute…

The other night, I went out with some friends after we got done with worship team rehearsal.  We talked about life, love, the church and laughed a lot.  

Amidst our conversation was a discussion of the upcoming Sunday and the rehearsal that we had just finished.  

Let me insert a parenthetical comment here: The worship team that we are playing on this week is stacked, in terms of musical talent.  

My friend, who happens to be the hardest-working, most talented guitarist I have ever/will ever know, looks at me and says:

“Paul, you know what the best part of Sunday is going to be?”  (I was scrambling mentally: guitar solo?  vocal breakdown? special music?)

“That we get to do what we just did [i.e., sweet musical goodness] with the church…with all the people.”

In the words of Brian Regan: “How true that is!”