My buddy, Ryan Hall, told me about this poem that Hillsong Church has on their website, describing their conviction about what the Church is to be. It's absolutely incredible. It's written by Robert Fergusson, and he nails it. Enjoy.
"She is the plan of God on earth; always in her Father’s eye: Cherished, mysterious, beautiful and potent beyond measure: King empowered and life infused. She emerges triumphant; limitless with potential; a harbor for the hopeless and an answer for the ages: the church resplendent - a bride for His Son.
"She is the body of Christ on earth; born, like her Head, amidst tribulation, under jealous skies. Cradled in her innocence and guarded for His purpose. She grows in wisdom and stature with victory on her lips and freedom in her hands. Hers is an unstoppable cause. She embraces the world with dignity, honor and compassion; gives vision to the sightless and life to the dying.
"She is the family of God on earth. Within her compass, the hungry find sustenance and the weary receive strength. She is a haven for recovering humanity, enthralled by grace. She invites the broken, the vulnerable and the outcast to be immersed in love. She stands imperfect but perfection resides within her. She is flawed but is washed with forgiveness. She has a treasury of faith and a wealth of belonging.
"She is the house of heaven on earth: A representative, resolute to reconcile. The Word within her accepts the receptive but challenges the heartless. She is the ecclesia, called out to serve the world: Calling out to welcome in. Blood-washed and armed with testimony, the cross on her lips liberates the chained and offends the unchanging. Like her Master she is pursued and persecuted. Yet she rises with strength in her heart and fire in her soul.
"She is the bride of Christ on earth; readying herself for the day when all eyes will be upon her. Prepared and presented before the Lord: The Lamb for whom the world awaits, who comes like the rising sun, majestic and magnificent beyond description, which she dazzles with reflected glory. Spotless, perfect and mature, she bows low to cast her crowns and passionately worship Him. Her temporal focus becomes her eternal gaze. She is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ."