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The Church vs. Home Depot

Most often we think of the Church as a "strategy" or a "system" for local evangelistic efforts, social change, or a dispenser of resources to help the individual on his or her Christian journey. Churches are offered like different shops are offered at a mall. Indeed, the largest churches offer themselves as a kind of spiritual mall in itself, bidding the seeker: Come here and choose from our wide array of Christian classes, teachings, activities, that which you need to live out your individual Christian life. In this model the church is a repository of spiritual goods that assist the individual Christian. It is a vendor of religious services. It is the Home Depot for the spiritual do-it-yourselfer.

But that is not the Church of the first century. The Church of the first century is “a people.” The Church is not a helpful thing for my individual spiritual journey. The Church is the journey.

—Tod Bolsinger, It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian

Comments

Tod wrote a book?!!! I used to know him somewhat. I took a class on Presbyterian history from him at Hollywood, among other things. He was a cool guy.
Ooo.. that's good. Of course we are to encourage eachother in our personal walks with the Lord, but I agree... the church is supposed to be a body, to function and live as one, just as Jesus and the Father are one. Unity of the corporate church is something that's really been burning in my heart lately...

Well, better a Depot than a Despot.
Not dismissing the humor value of the pun, but I think that distinction is responsible for a chunk of the "Home Depot mentality" regarding the Church. She has sometimes been a despot, along with a litany of other sins, and rather than forgive her (and thus, accept Christ's authority to forgive her), we've stripped her of power and authority in our lives so that she won't be dangerous.

Of course, part of what she endangers is our own self-centered agendas, so it served us well (or so we delude ourselves) to get that out of the way and have her serve us individually instead.