Tonight Claire (my little girl) was doing some homework. The task seemed like a fun one. She was to identify one of three items in a group that did not rhyme. When she discovered one she would let out a cry of victory and recite the three items. This was not just a fun game to her. It was a celebration of discovery. The one she yelled the loudest was "Skate! Gate!! Foot!!!"
About the same time I was reading a book at the same table and made a discovery of my own. I am reading a book by Ed Stetzer called Planting Missional Churches. He quotes a book called The Shaping of things to Come. He explains that our Christology (our understanding of Jesus) shapes our Missiology (our understanding of the Mission of Jesus) and creates our Ecclesiology (the way we function as a church).
Too often we put the cart before the horse when it comes to doing the work of the ministry. The form and function of the church must never come before the person of Jesus. We must start with understanding, loving, and serving Jesus before we try to do church. It will remain a partial picture of the real thing and not a completed version of the Body of Christ.