Did you know that Jesus actually did plant a church?
Yeah, it met outdoors and then found a house to meet in.
There was an awesome ratio of men to women, they all shared common experience and each of them had a personal relationship with Jesus. It sounds legit. It sounds Hipster. It sounds like a revolution and the way things should be done if you want to do church the way Jesus “intended”. I mean Jesus was the lead pastor, right?
Sometimes, I get the feeling that the church is trying too hard to be cool. The music is cool. The location is relevant. The preaching is authentic and the clergy collar has been replaced by the soul patch (or goteé). But that’s not how Jesus planted his church. Jesus built a church around who was there. Jesus modeled it in all of its inglorious beauty, which was actually cool.
Jesus’ house church was planted while he was on the cross.
Jesus’ mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood near the cross. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “ Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “ Here is your mother.” And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” John 19:25-27
A beautiful and sad church gathered at the foot of the cross. I don’t know if it would have been very popular, though. It’s probably not the church that many church planters are trying to start. It’s debatable whether many people would attend a second time.
The congregation was made up of a grieving mother, her married sister, an ex-demon possessed woman and an out of work disciple.
One dude. Three women. Every one of them not in a very good head space.
This was not a pretty church, not a controlled church. This was not the church that young people would want to raise their kids in. This church wasn’t going to have big buildings. The cool cats weren’t going to be the worship band.
It was a church that was built upon two competing realities:
One, that the church began with a murder,
was fueled by the suffering and sorrow of everyday anxiety and fear;
and Two, that this church was going to be the hope of the world.
If any of these people showed up on a Sunday would you feel comfortable? It’s a tough question to answer honestly. We know we are supposed to love our neighbor and all that stuff, but do we really want to worship with them? I mean, won’t their problems overshadow mine? Won’t they get all the attention? Won’t they bogart the positive vibes?
But that’s Church: Messy. Dangerous. Suffering.
I find the church that Jesus planted pretty exciting.
We are a part of it when we are at our worst.
It includes everybody.
Broken and Bent.
And, well…that’s cool.