Larry Crabb's radical idea of what it means to go to church


 I suggest that it's time to take a hard look at what really gets passed back and forth in our relationships and to ask what is being withheld that, if given, could change our lives. It's time to consider a radical understanding of "going to church" that centers on releasing the power to change lives that God has placed within every member of the Christian community, a community Christ calls his body, a community made up of lots of people connecting to a few others.

What would it mean to enter the battle for someone else's soul by connecting with them? Does soul care deal with the core issues lying beneath a history of sexual abuse? Does connection address what's going on beneath panic attacks, shoplifting, and eating disorders? Is there real power to do what needs to be done in ordinary relationships?

When Paul proclaimed Christ "so that we may present everyone perfect," was he grappling with what we moderns call emotional problems? When he claimed that the energy of Christ was powerfully working through him as he related to others, was it an energy that might help a parent worried sick over a rebellious drug-abusing son or a troubled eating-disordered daughter? When he felt as though he were in the pains of childbirth until Christ was formed in the lives of people he loved, was something coming out of him that could meaningfully help a woman struggling with multiple personalities or a man who has never felt close to anyone?

I have been captured by the idea that God has placed extraordinary resources within us that have the power to heal us and our relationships. If released they could do a lot of good that we now think only trained specialists can accomplish. I believe that, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, these resources can do whatever needs to be done to move people toward maturity. I have what it takes, not as a psychologist but as a Christian husband, to help my wife become deeply whole. I can influence my kids, help my friends, and be an instrument of soul healing in the lives of a few. The core requirement is that I be godly. It's easier to get educated.

 I envision the church as people who are connected in small healing communities, connected by what they give to each other. Perhaps they gather with other little communities in larger groups to celebrate the life they share and be instructed in that life and then go out to connect even more deeply and invite others to enjoy that same intimacy.  -- Connecting (Larry Crabb)