I have a watch. It tells me what time it is. The little hand (which looks more like a stick) tells me the hour, the big hand tells me the minute, and the skinny hand tells me the seconds. The watch also, supposedly, can tell me the time digitally, wake me up with an alarm, give me the date, and be used as stopwatch. But no matter how hard I try, I seem unable to figure out how to help my watch do those things for me. Mechanistically, my watch makes no sense to me. I have tried but I can’t figure it out.
But I strongly believe that being able to know the time is important. Being influenced by the time equips me to practice life by knowing the order of my days. I also believe that I should never become a slave to time. Time should enable and equip me to take the fullest advantage of every day. And so I believe that I need a time-teller, whether it’s a watch, or a grandfather clock, or my cell phone, or the sun. But I need an effective, intentional way/manner of time-telling that equips me to know the time. So by what manner, method or way should I operate? That’s simple: in the way that best equips me to live to take the fullest advantage of every day.
The structure of church is the same. I strongly believe that being able to know the church is important. Being influenced by the church equips me to truly be a part of a community that practices life to the fullest. But I also believe that I should never be a slave to the church (I am a slave to Christ; I am part of the church). The church should enable and equip me to know and to live for Jesus. So I need an effective, intentional way/manner of church that equips me to do just that.
So by what manner, method, way should our church operate? That’s simple: in the way that best equips me and you and our neighbors to practice life to the fullest by following Jesus and sharing him with others.