When a new wineskin is not enough Print
Monday, 05 September 2011 19:28

Jesus said that new wine needs new wineskins (Luke 5:36-40). A new wineskin is only needed if there is new wine. If simple/organic church is like a new wineskin, what is the new wine? Is there something about the life we have together in Christ that needs a new container, that would burst an old wineskin?

This is part of a series on how to start simple/organic/house churches. Changing the structure of church gains nothing unless it is a response to something that Jesus is doing which wouldn't be easy to contain within the old structures. (If you read the story in Luke 5 carefully, it is obvious that Jesus cares about the old structures and the old wine too.) There's no point in doing church as we've always known it within the four walls of our homes rather than in a special building.

Many people take Matthew 18:18-20 as the basic building block of church.

Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (KJV).

Jesus "in the midst" is what church is all about. An individual has Jesus within. Corporately, we have Jesus among us.

People often contact us: "We'd like to get to know you and learn from you."

We look forward to such times. But what sometimes happens is that they start talking to us as soon as they arrive and barely pause for breath the entire time they are here. They have not listened to us; they have not gotten to know us.

Church can be that way--even house church. We have our time together all planned out. We sing songs, pray, fellowship, learn from the Word. But there's no pause to listen to Jesus. The fact that Jesus is in the midst of us barely registers.

The Christian walk is all about relationship with Jesus. John 17:3 says, And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

We know about personal intimacy with Christ, but there can be a corporate intimacy, too, when as a body of his disciples, we develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus. When everything we do, including mission, including our times together, is a response to what Jesus says to us, that's the new wine.

Felicity Dale

http://www.simplychurch.com/2011/08/when-a- new-wineskin-is-not-enough.html