Church Without Walls
In 2001 the Church of Scotland published a report called A CHURCH WITHOUT WALLS.
Its aim was to inspire the church to become a community built upon relationships with the teachings of Jesus the main source of that inspiration.
It talked of 'reshaping' and 'releasing', of investing, modelling and permitting.
Seventeen years later and many might think that there has been little reshaping. Virtually every congregation is firmly established within a building that is in many subtle ways the centre and focus of its existence.
The Church of Scotland remains very much a 'Church Within Walls' - a religious institution that has lost sight of its purpose because it is enclosed in a model of church that belongs to a former age. A religious establishment that is in great need of release.
The Lord Jesus said
"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins."
Some say that we have to leave the old wineskins behind and start afresh with the new.
And Peter, the fisherman, wrote
"you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house"
New and fresh expressions of church start to appear when people meet together in Jesus' name. When they start to discover that church is community not building - that when we meet in Jesus' name we become a spiritual house.