A number of years ago I began looking at the way we were doing church in the church I was pastoring at the time. We were already an "outside the box" group of people. Many in the community considered us "odd" or "weird" because we were different. Yet I knew something was still amiss. Something still wasn't right. I knew this in my spirit.
I began doing some research about how church is done. It wasn't long before I found other brothers and sisters around the country who were sensing the same things in their spirits. Needless go say this excited me. Just knowing I wasn't alone in my thoughts regarding God's intended plan for His church was encouraging.
Things have changed even more today. According to George Barna's book, Revolution, the number of people questioning the institutional church is growing - and getting larger every year. A good portion of these people have left the institutional church for their own spiritual benefit. We are hearing more and more about people becoming stagnant and sensing themselves in a spiritual downward spiral all while being a part of an institutional church.
Today's institutional church is not meeting the spiritual needs of those who have a deep longing for an intimate relationship with Jesus. As spiritual needs continue to go unfulfilled, believers will continue seeking for something more, something different, something better.
As I talk to different people and even respond to those who read this blog who have sent me personal messages, I truly believe something is brewing. Something exciting, I might add. Some may call it a revolution of sorts. This goes well beyond a series of revival meetings. It goes well beyond our institutional church practices. Its deeper. Much deeper, in fact. It goes to the core of not only church practices but also of the teachings and theology itself.
I believe God is doing more and more to being His people out of the spiritual bondage they've been in for so long. This involves a renewed emphasis that the New Testament church is a spiritual organism, not an institutional organization!
The institutional church of our day is a man made system of doing church under the headship of man. There are some precious people in the institutional church. I have no problem with the people, its the institutional system that puts people in bondage or, at the very least, does not permit them to function in the gathering that I take issue with. These churches are very much building centered organizations being led by ministers/pastors. In an institutional church the congregants watch a religious performance once or twice a week led primarily by the minister/pastor. After that dissertation they return home to go live their individual lives.
God's church, as previously stated, is organic in nature. When I say "organic" I am referring to churches that function according to New Testament principles like the early church did. Make no mistake about it - God's church can, indeed, express herself organically just as she did in the New Testament.
Don't die on the vine! Become part of God's church - the living, breathing organism Jesus laid down His life for. The gates of hell cannot and will not prevail against this church!
Until next time enjoy the journey!
It you know of someone who would be challenged and encouraged by this blog please pass on a link to them. I believe the church needs to be set free from the bondage of the status quo she has been in for so long. The blogs over the next few weeks will help us to see how this can be done.