Remembering that the church is a people should help us recognize what's important and what's not important. I know I need the help.
For example, I have a temptation to let something like the style of music dictate how I feel about a church. After all, the style of music a church uses is one of the first things we will notice about any church, and we tend to respond to music at a very emotional level. Music makes us feel a certain way. Yet what does it say about my love for Christ and for Christ's people if I decide to leave a church because of its music?
Or if, when pastoring a church, I marginalize a majority of my congregation because I think the style of music needs to be updated? At the very least, we could say that I've forgotten that the church, fundamentally, is a people and not a place.I know that this could open up a slew of other thoughts, especially if you've left a church over music, on either end of the spectrum, but I fundamentally believe in what Dever is saying. The church is a people, not a place. There is too much leaving going on in our local churches over issues that shouldn't be leaving issues. There is also not enough cooperation and fellowship between different local gatherings over issues that shouldn't be dividing issues.
Feel free to join us on Wednesday nights at Edgewood Baptist Church, as we ask the question, What is a Healthy Church?