There are two biggies I want to address in Part 3:
- ‘One-size-fits-all’ Church, and
- Loss of individual = loss of vision
One size does NOT fit all
God has created us for:
- The Great Commission
Diversely Created for Commissioned Community
In The West, we like BIG stuff. And I’m not just talking about The States or even Texas. I’m also talking about the UK and other ‘1st world’ countries – Japan, Canada, etc. On top of that, we like to organise things. To be fair, organisation is an inherently creative attribute of Humans. God spoke, matter organised itself into being. Organisation is creative. But alas…
In a fallen world, these attributes end up stacking against us, rather than for us. We’ve twisted our Godly desire for organisation into something human, and we’ve dumped everything together so it’s BIG. This is the Modern Western Church Organisation. Big, Organised. That’s how we like it.
As mentioned in Part 2, everyone is unique. I know we’ve heard this before on an audio disc about self-improvement, or maybe during prayer, but it’s actually true. God doesn’t like sameness. If He did, we’d all look like Brad & Gwenyth. But He didn’t, and He doesn’t, and (however unfortunately) we don’t. We all look differently, talk differently, feel differently, think differently and live differently. As far as I know for myself, I also relate to God differently. Same God, but different people. One God, 6.53 billion humans, 6.53 billion different ways to know Him (and that’s if we each only get one ;-)
So why the heck are we settling for this one, stodgy set of methods!?
The answer is probably because it’s the only way to get us all in one room, agreeing upon the same thing. In order to maintain the structure of modern church, we need to please as many as possible, and offend as few a possible.
Community is good, but in speaking of the popular mega-churches, we’ve got it all wrong. Actually, it’s about the programme. It’s about what we do together – it’s limits and it’s scope. It’s about how comfortable we’ve become within it, and how that has narrowed our view. It’s about how it makes everyone feel, and about the vision it oppresses. In the end, it’s always all about God – but it’s about knowing Him personally. That’s hard to do when everyone’s doing the same thing, subscribing to the same model, suppressing what God has put inside of them.
Good community is supporting each Christian individually, and the unique vision which God has placed within them.
Good community is supporting each Christian individually, and the unique vision which God has placed within them. Bad community is prioritising The Flock above that one sheep. Because the fact is, any community is made up of individuals.
Would Jesus come to church?
Perhaps it’s a silly question, but I think it’s a good one. Based upon what you know about who Jesus is, would He come to your Sunday church? Would that be a good use of His time? Would He leave and say to each of us individually Well done, good and faithful servant?
Where there is no vision, the people perish
If the Church is a body, then the Visionaries are the veins– responsible for circulating and regenerating the blood which keeps the body alive. They have an important package to deliver, and if this ‘blood’ is not delivered, the entire body slows and eventually dies. I believe this important package is not regularly being delivered.
- God gives vision to the Visionary
- The Visionary passes on this lifeblood to the Body
- The body is revitalised and sometimes changed through growth by the blood
- The blood/vision runs it’s course
- The Body is in need of new blood
This is a distillation of how this cycle is supposed to work. But the Visionaries are stopping at Step 2. The Vision is never being delivered. It’s not being delivered because it’s being refused. The Body doesn’t want change, it wants control and safety, so it rejects new vision. This also has effects upon the Visionary, but I won’t get into that now.
The end result is that the entire body suffers into stagnation and spiritual death because the essential blood is not being delivered throughout the Body.
Where there is no vision, the people perish…
Proverbs 29:18 KJV