Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

Redefining Church: A Lesson in Community

Redefining Church: A Lesson in Community

 What if preaching isn’t really that important?  

Think about it; most preachers/teachers spend ten or so hours preparing a thirty minute message only to have the congregation digest ten minutes (?) of the actual material. And the truth is we live in a content rich environment. Almost all the great communicators are accessible via the interwebs, and if you want to listen to some outstanding messages they are literally at your fingertips.

So, as a guy that loves to preach: What does that mean?  

Well, I think it means we have to redefine church. Maybe Sunday morning is the least important thing we do as the church body? Someone recently suggested that you take ninety seconds and write down as many sermon titles as you can remember. Then take another ninety seconds and write down as many Bible studies as you can remember. Finally, take your another ninety seconds and write down the names of the people that have impacted your relationship with God.

Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Did you come to the same conclusion I did? I found out that I remember the people more than the sermons or the studies. I found out that the people matter so much more.  What if church is more about building intentional communities than anything else?

In a recent conversation I had with two pastors from North Carolina they have redefined church by being the community. Community that reaches community for Jesus. As I sat and listened to them discuss how it was changing their family I thought to myself – it makes sense.

To listen to that conversation click here.

It makes sense because when I look at the life of Jesus (the guy I’m trying to follow), He didn’t spend a ton of time prepping for sermons. He spent it with His disciples. He spent it with His community – doing life together in an intentional way.  

So, I don’t know what this means for me, but I do think it requires me (and maybe you) to think about our community. Who are you surrounding yourself with? Who are you talking about your faith with? And who is walking alongside you on the journey?

I must admit, I get a little excited thinking about every person in the church engaging in community with people they know and people they don’t. I get really excited about church people just loving on the people in their community in a new way.

I also get excited about pastors getting out of their studies and inviting people into relationships. I know a lot of my brothers and sisters feel a pressure to preach an amazing sermon (I know I do), but maybe God has called us to something more. Maybe God has called us to community.

Here are five questions I am wrestling with:

What does your community look like?

Is your community intentional?

Is your community based on God, or on something else?

Who do you need to invite in?

Who are you pouring into?

I would love to hear your thoughts! Join the conversation on Facebook or Instagram (via @twmilt).

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