Indeed many corporate organisations failed not because they did not have strong organisational strengths but simply because they misread the environment. The Church cannot fail...but many organisations in the body have been ship-wrecked ...missing the rocks in the rapids and gone down the waterfalls. I had the privilege to present and lead a discussion, at a Visioning Retreat for a non-denominational Church, on a glimpse of the New Global Environment as it now impacts Church Vision and Organisation. You may want to download the powerpoint slides on the New Environment and also for more context please watch/listen to the (Ligonier Ministries) video The Gnostic Gospel By Peter Jones.
These are exciting days of opportunity but one also observes that today’s environment presents for the Christian changed and new dimensions almost completely non-existent decades ago. We depend on the Holy Spirit for a new strength to revive us afresh and defeat previously unseen “beasts” . Many churches indeed pray but frankly most may not watch enough. We are asked to do both diligently.
In summary, Peter Jones in his video speaks of the a resurgence of a new and bold Paganism that looks like Christianity boldly coming out of the closet and creeping in and posing unforeseen threats. We are not to be so distracted or obsessed with threats that we do not see the many wonderful opportunities.
Opportunities discussed at the visioning session include;
1.A Hunger for God and a new Reformation – A new Calvinism (Ideas changing the world right now) Time Magazine March 2009)... a hunger for a deep rooted revival
2.Social media – A new Evangelism Army
3.Emotional Brokenness of Post Modern Society fuels repentance and creates gaps for ministry to fill. The Postmodern world has chewed up and thrown out a broken people now seeking desperate help . Postmodern experiments in society fail and many damaged hearts are in need of succour and comfort.
4.Unusual Shakings and Disasters ... Increased Societal Uncertainty. People now are more responsive to God. New Brokenness opening doors in previously closed nations.
5.There are gaps in social responsibility/community that ministry can enter to make positive impacts and lead more souls to Christ - especially in poorer and developing economies.
6.Increased financial scrutiny / demand for accountability is an opportunity to proactively improve and demystify financial and other processes.
Threats also discussed at the Retreat ...
1.Post Modern Gnosticism ... a new paganism that looks like Christianity
2.Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (Going to Church to dance and feel good.)– New Religion of the Youths...(If it feels good and does good it must be God)
3.Commercialisation and Monetisation of the Gospel ... Godliness is gain and vice versa.
4.Others suchs as Parental Disintermediation; Breakdown of traditional family/marriage...multicultures in the Church fuelled by age-driven segregation...new attacks on Christian traditions of marriage. Breakdown in traditional Christian Discipline and Gender Deconstruction.etc
5.New Destructive trends and addictions – Games/Entertainment/Lusts/fashions ... the Church looks like the world to reach the world as Church becomes more entertaining than spiritually reviving.
6.The “Cold” Online/ Internet Church – New Prevalence of Unqualified Ministry ... lurking dangers in face book etc ...A new “Pastorless” do-it-yourself Christianity. It is forecast that soon most people will attend church online...so what happens to traditional discipleship, fellowship, love, face-to-face accountability? Mentoring and friendships wane...and the love of many wax cold.
The video by Peter Jones is quite revealing to see why it cannot be “Business as Usual” ....We continue to pray and already see the Holy Ghost in a fresh release of fire for a deep rooted Revival moving and taking us higher in a new fiery dimension ... like was seen in the first century Church.... exposing and removing “Ananias and Sapphira” in new modern disguises. The Holy Spirit is the answer to the challenge of every age including those of Postmodernism and "Paganist" Religion today. Fall afresh Holy Spirit help us to remain overcomers – O Lord.