How many ways are there to “do church”?
How did Jesus “do church”? How did the Apostles and early church fathers do it? Ever think about it? Ever study it? I have. And it’s a big part of what put me to this journey. It’s also a lot of what this blog site is about. Is being “in church” as important as “doing church”? What did Jesus do?
This last week I would consider myself to have been “doing church” a lot! There was the 12 hours on Saturday, when our little Fellowship made a trip to a Garden Shop 2 hours away and ended up praying for a lady whose 91 year old dad was passing away in hospital, and we also did some teaching of Jesus being a shift from Temples to Tables. I spent that whole day with Jason and we did many things, including his Flower Box. (Now finished and delivered.)
Then on Tuesday, my oldest grandson surprised us. I don’t get a lot of time with him, but when I do, Grandpa White Feather is ready to go to Teepee and do some “School in the Wilderness”! This is my opportunity to get grandson away from video games and into some nature and Bible! This is what all my grandkids know they can expect from their Grandpa White Feather.
We had a great day at the Teepee and I taught him how to split wood with an axe, wedges, and 12 pound sledge hammer. He loved it! I taught him how to work an axe a couple years ago, but he never split wood before. He’s fourteen now and able to do some real damage to a log. (LOL.) Of course I had to instruct him about the dangers of chopping wood and how to do it without chopping your leg. So far he has done well.
Teepee time also allowed us to roast hotdogs on the fire and talk Bible. (Doing church/ Disciplship). I showed him in the book of Ephesians where Paul writes about our spiritual armor. I read him the blog article previous to this one. We talked about how obsessed he is with the charge on his cell phone, but what about his spiritual armor? I spoke to him about taking time away from all the distractions and to get quiet before the Lord, to hear His voice. I asked him what he heard around us. He heard the crackling fire, rain hitting on the Teepee, but he failed to mention the wind blowing through the green cornstalks. I pointed that out to him. As a city kid, he’s not use to hearing the wind. ( I have given him the name, FireKeeper, as he helps me maintain the fire, even in chopping wood now.)
So here’s the deal. No, I was not in what would be considered a normal church service this last Sunday morning. Actually, I was writing our previous article about the spiritual armor. This too is church. I spend a lot of time “doing church” and not so much time in a church building, I am the church.
When I left the modern church building with all its agendas, I knew God’s word said I must still have “fellowship” in the body of Christ. So how do you do that? This was one of my first challenges to find a Biblical answer for. I had to find someone with a shepherd calling on their life who was doing something closer to the original church. I soon discovered this was not easy to do, but since I have always had a Pastor’s/ Teacher’s gifting, proven by many years of serving other Pastors and teaching God’s word, (I’m 62), I soon began realizing God was calling me to start such a fellowship, and we have.
In the early church, Pastors/Bishops were chosen by the other people who knew the godly life of the person they were choosing. These men were already proven in various ways. It wasn’t about a certificate from a Bible college hanging on the wall, but what did their works and words reveal about them, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Either other people recognize the call on a person’s life, or they don’t. Since I’m old now, (sort of), I had many years of people knowing me and what I’m about. So we stepped out into God’s leading and “so far” he seems to have confirmed our path. I have no problem laying it down if God tells me to.
So we don’t have a certain “church building”. We use our house, Jason’s apartment, a food court in a mall, the Teepee, driving down the road in a car, almost anything can suddenly become “church”. We ask 2 questions a lot: When did Jesus have church? All the time! Where did Jesus have church? Everywhere he went!
I asked my grandson those 2 questions at the Teepee. He remembered both answers. It is my hope he will also begin to hear the Wind more than he did before, this is what I consider to be discipleship, for a person to become a mature sheep who also can hear The Shepherd’s voice for themself. A priority in our fellowship is “Family/Unity” (a common Table), and “Disciplship”. What kind of spiritual children are we raising unto God? God holds us accountable for the quality of our flock more than the number. The numbers are God’s responsibility.
So if you’re looking for a different way of doing church, you got to find a faithful shepherd first, one proven by years of service, not driven by money or pride, and don’t overlook the wisdom of those more aged. I never could have done this before I took early retirement. This is one of the big reasons I chose retiring early. Being the shepherd of a flock does require “the calling”, and a lot of time. Evidently God had this timed out for me, even though I had no suspicion of what he was doing.
If you happen to be an older person reading this, and if you have served the Lord in such ways most of your life, perhaps you don’t need to find such a shepherd? Perhaps you’re meant to be one!
What is God doing as we head into the last days? Is he doing the same old thing, or has the cloud moved, in order to test those who have an ear to hear, if they hear or not? Even as it was in the days of Noah, and with John the Baptist the first time Jesus was coming.
If you’re involved in the “normal” American church practice, then make sure you truly are “doing church”, not just “going to church” like some kind of a duty or obligation. Make sure you ARE the church. God looks for the cheerful heart, those who obey in love, joy, and peace. The simple truth is, there is more than one way to do church, and “be” the church. You simply got to think outside the box.
“Fellowship of the White Path”/ Grandpa White Feather