Our churches ought to first be true communities. People are the priority. Hospitality, love, and forgiveness are to stand out, and our communities should be places of alluring grace. Christian communities are not to be other-worldly, but to be this-worldly. We’re to be down-to-earth. We’re to share life together. We’re to be real people, living in the real world, and doing real things. And Christ is to be Lord of it all—of all life. Others are to come first—through washing feet, laying down lives, loving as Jesus has loved us. This extends to all we say and do as we live in this wild, wonderful, and broken world as broken people. Our actions will never be perfect, but nevertheless we are to continue to seek to demonstrate love in the midst of sin. This is living spirituality for the church, as it will result in further transformation into the image of Christ, empowering for mission, and diminishing spiritual impoverishment.
Many, many times, those who claim to be the most biblical among us are more interested in dogmatically protecting their particular interpretations, rather than carefully studying, contemplating, and being open to the map’s direction—a direction they claim to hold so dear. Whatever the map means to me is what it means has widespread influence today, and this lack of biblical understanding can and does create serious problems for love and unity. If there is no community, no teaching, and no interest in developing good map reading skills, then we lose the path and will die. Churches are dying. Tombstones fly from steeples. The unreal, impersonal, and dying all too often characterize us. Such a portrayal of Christianity is not accurate, is not of God, is not following the map, is not the path to life, and is certainly not the journey of living spirituality.