Tuesday Re-mix –
Your church is not just comprised of people. It is comprised of relationships among those people. That’s an important distinction. It is the difference between a pile of bricks and a building made with those bricks. It is the difference between a jumbled wad of thread and a fabric woven with that thread. It is not just the people who make up the church…it is the specific ways in which those people relate to one another that either make them a New Testament church or not. More specifically, it is the Spirit of God living in those people and moving them into relationships with each other which make them a church.
I often describe the church as a fabric. Each of us is a single thread in that fabric. Every place my “thread” touches another “thread” is a relationship. And all of those relationships, together, form my local congregation.
There are always things putting pressure on that fabric…weighty objects (“issues”) which God permits to fall into the fabric of your church. Some of those issues are heavy and others are pretty light. But when one of those issues tears the fabric, it is not just a function of the weight of the issue. It is a function of the strength of the fabric. Churches which teach and practice Biblical interpersonal relationships constitute strong fabrics. They can handle lots of challenges. But churches who do not teach good relationships will eventually become littered with broken or damaged relationships, i.e., weak fabric. And where the fabric is weak enough, it doesn’t take much to tear it wide open.
Another metaphor that works here is thinking of your “fabric” as a latex balloon. When you inflate it and then hold it up to the light, you can actually see where …