Tuesday, October 21, 2008


One of the words that I hate to hear in reference to CTK is "church." I wish they wouldn't call us that! I don't want to be a church. I don't want act like a church. And, mostly, I don't want to be associated with what most people think when they hear the word. Church is a bad to many other people in America. The less we act like a church, the better. The less people think of us as a church, the better.

Now, I know that is all pretty weird considering that we are, in fact, a church. And I guess I need to clarify. I'm certainly not afraid of the word as it has been defined by Scripture. But I am down on it as it has been defined by culture. And guess what? The cultural definition is the de facto definition we're working with, or against.

What do people think when they hear church? Here's a few words that come to mind: hypocritical, judgmental, money- oriented, boring - precisely what we are trying hard not to be! Which is why it is music to my ears whenever someone contrasts CTK with a church, and it scares me whenever anyone compares CTK to a church.

Do we have to be called a church to be the church? I don't think so. The early believers were known as "the way" or "the people of the way." The greek ecclesia (translated church) literally means "the called out ones." In Antioch they began to be called "Christians" or "Christ-ones." It wouldn't hurt my feelings if people referred to CTK as "called out ones" or "Christ ones." Just don't call us a church.

If you are a church leader in the CTK story please be on guard for "church creep." Church creep is when we slowly but surely start to behave like any church would. We start using words that churches use. We start developing programs that churches have. We start "acting" like churches act. Remember, if it walks like a dog, talks like a dog, looks like a dog, it's a dog. So to keep from being a church, don't act like one, don't talk like one, and don't look like one.

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