If you’re not yet really in the Jesus conversation, okay.  I’ve been there, too.  If that’s the case, you probably won’t understand what’s going on in this set of questions.  On the other hand, if you’ve at least begun to ask questions like: “Is Jesus real?” or “Is Jesus relevant?” or “Why are people talking about Jesus?”, then these questions might be helpful on your journey.  These are questions that have been very helpful to me in my journey, and to my community in its journey. At first look, they didn’t seem very deep or spiritual to me.  But they became so.  In fact, they completely changed me. Here goes:

  1. What does Jesus want from me? (As opposed to, “What do I want from Jesus?”)
  2. Who does Jesus want me to be? (As opposed to, “Who do I want to be?” or “Who does the world/parents/kids/boss/friends expect me to be?”)
  3. What does Jesus want from my community of faith? (As opposed to, “What do I want from my church?” or “What do I want at my church?”)
  4. When we put the word “Church” on our sign, what did it mean to us when we put it there? Does having that word on our sign make us one? What does “Church” mean to the people we are trying to reach? What do they hope it means? What does the word “Church” mean to Jesus? Does the Bible say anything about what the Church is? (As opposed to assuming everybody answers these questions the same way and is in total agreement on them.)

How do you answer these questions? Of whom did you ask them?  Please, feel free to respond.  Snide comments also accepted 😉



  1. The Rev. Janet Weiblen Said:

    I don’t think these questions are irrelevant at all. Every Christian should ask questions–it shows that they care and aren’t stuck in a rut.
    What does Jesus want from you? “Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with your God.” Or said another way, “Love God and love neighbor”–neighbor, of course, being the person we’d least like to love.
    What does God want you to be? The very best you can be; why wouldn’t God want that?
    As for what God wants from your community of faith–and probably EVERY community of faith–see the two answers above. In short, reach out to the world in love and work to make the world a better place.
    I don’t think the word “church” meant anything to Jesus; it wasn’t in his vocabulary. We created this “edifice” for ourselves (though we say it’s for the glory of God) but that gets us off the hook of US being for the glory of God. I don’t think God or Jesus have all that much concern for churches unless they aren’t working as communities of faith for the betterment of the world. Otherwise, what good are they? It’s not enough to have a personal faith; if it’s not working for the world, it isn’t faith at all.

    • “If it’s not working for the world, it isn’t faith at all.” I really like that idea, and thank you for posting it! I also like how you’ve mentioned here the “edifice” or building being our creation. It’s amazing how deeply ingrained in me it was that if you asked me where the church is, I would have given you a street address. I think that is deeply ingrained in the institutional church, too, as well as in culture. Now, I might give you a street address, but that would be more a matter of a street corner or alley where people are feeding the homeless or finding people shelter that it would be having anything to do with a church building. You make a lot of great points and I really appreciate that you put yourself out there and replied thoughtfully. Thank you.

      • The Rev. Janet Weiblen Said:

        I have spent a lifetime wrestling with faith–somewhat like Jacob at the Jabbok River (which is why I like that story so much). I was raised in a very fundamentalist church and have “evolved” through questioning–with seminary being the most “gut-wrenching” experience of my life. But I am finally at a point where I have peace because I know that God is present to me always and in all ways. What can possibly be better than that?
        Thanks for your response.

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