Treehouse, Lighthouse, or Warehouse?

I’m in the middle of my day and the turntable needle of my brain is stuck in the groove that goes: “Gottawritegottawritegottawritegottawritegottawrite…”  So, here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately.  This will be quick, so read it quick and then comment quick…

I’ve been in fulltime ministry for well over a decade and a half, and I’ve noticed that most people have one of three views of the purpose of the Church.  Two of them make sense at least on some level.

The Church is like a treehouse:

This is where the club members meet.  It’s elevated, it’s away from “them”, and it’s just for “us”.  We hang a sign on the door that says “No girls allowed” but depending on the church,  it looks more like “No messy people allowed”, “No problems allowed”, “No loud music allowed”, “No flip-flops allowed”, “No riff-raff allowed”.  Basically, the treehouse is our protection from the outside world. It’s our haven, our safe place, our treehouse.  We’ll be back down soon, but until we do, don’t bother us.

The Church is a lighthouse.

This view sounds right on, but its not entirely so.  The lighthouse is what alerts those in the dark of the dangers hiding in the dark by shining the light on them.  This is the kind of church that reaches out to the lost, while reaching right past the found.  Now, don’t hear me say what I’m not saying. I know that each Christian is ultimately responsible for their own spiritual growth, but the Bible is clear that the pastor is charged to “equip the saints for the work of service.”  That sounds like discipleship should be present, doesn’t it?  But in some churches, “new souls saved” trump “old  souls sanctified” every time.

The Church is a warehouse.

There seem to be even some Christians that neither want to reach out NOR grow up.  Apparently to them, the Church is a warehouse where they can just be stored away until Jesus returns.  Things are dusty, the same they were 50 years ago, and there is no visible sign of life.  This church does what they do because it’s always been what they do.  Change would be welcomed if it didn’t involve changing anything at all.  And that’s what this church is dead set against.  Operative word: dead.

Is there another category?  Is there another “house” we could add?

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5 thoughts on “Treehouse, Lighthouse, or Warehouse?

  1. The Log House

    The church as a log house. This church was built by hard work and dedicated people. Tree by tree (person) this house was built upon the foundation of those who went before. In order for this house to stay it must be protected from the elements of the forest. The weather (culture), something that is constantly changing. The bugs (evil) something that is always there, but you must constantly guard against it or it will get a stronghold and destroy the house. And, yes I do not like bugs, so they get to be the evil in this story. The log house is usually secluded in a forest, but is open to all who enter the forest. Any who want to come can, they just need to know the path (Jesus) to get to the Log House. Once there they can then begin to join in the maintenance (discipleship) of the house as they grow in understanding and maturity.

  2. Hey, son! Did I hear this from you sometime in the past during a conversation? I know I’ve heard it before. Maybe we discussed it. Hmmm! Either way, great thoughts and I think I’ll print it out for New Life. Good stuff!

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