What it means to be a community of FAITH

I have been reading a little bit of Philip Yancey’s book, Reaching For the Invisible God. I really like these words:

…Thomas kept company with the other disciples even though he could not believe their accounts of Jesus’ resurrection… and it was amid that community that Jesus appeared in order to strengthen Thomas’s faith…. The church at its best prepares a safe and secure space that belief may one day fill; we need not bring fully formed belief to the door, as a ticket for admission.

Does this describe my church? Is it a community which prepares a place for faith?
Yes, I think I can honestly say it is. But then the real question I should ask is: What am I doing to help my church be such a place?

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2 thoughts on “What it means to be a community of FAITH

  1. This post caused me to think a bit. And for me that can be a difficult task… Dust off the cobwebs and actually use my brain.

    I like the quote and wanted to ask another question. I am not sure what Yancey’s “at its best” comment means, but my question is this.

    “Is the church’s role to prepare a place to birth our faith or is it to nurture and grow the faith in those who have been given their measure from the Lord already? Or is it both?”

    What are your thoughts KC?

    Keith

    • Good catch, Keith!… I too wondered what “at its best” meant. I would say that, when the church is at its best, there are a great many wonderful things we can say about; and this point of Yancey’s is certainly one. But I couldn’t say exactly what he means by the phrase. The full context doesn’t really do much to clarify further.
      On your (second to) last question, I would say: BOTH!
      The only thought I can think to add right now is one of seeing where Yancey’s point could be taken and applied too far. I have seen it happen when churches, wanting to provide an open and inviting atmosphere for baby faith, end up letting people “serve” in places for which they are not qualified or ready. For example, there are some folks who really need to relax and receive ministry and learn of the Lord for a while, but they naturally have a desire to get involved in things. So they end up being entrusted with a Sunday School class or with an Awana leader position or something like that–and they’re just not ready. I wouldn’t want to see Yancey’s observation become a cover for that sort of thing.

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