You hear it said often from many different people and places. People are looking forward to getting back to normal. As Covid supposedly is coming to an end in a lot of nations people are hoping that things will return to normal – in other words, as they were before Covid. Of course, now we have a war that Russia started with Ukraine and that will impact the lives of many including ours as there are economic consequences, supply chain issues, and relational issues to be sorted out now and well into the future. Add to that rapid inflation and it seems like “normal” is not about to happen soon.
I would suggest that business as usual will not return in the near future – if ever. And that there is a need for many changes in the way we view and live life on Planet Earth. Foundational changes. And, as a result the Church of Jesus Christ needs to also make rapid and substantial foundational changes. For the Church it should never have been business as usual. And, certainly not now as we see the world changing in so many ways with respect to the essentials of life and liberty.
When looking at what the Church does and how it how does it, maybe it is just me, but so much of current church life seems totally irrelevant. Obsolete. Not relevant. Embarrassing. Antiquated. Even, in my opinion, stupid as it is so out of touch with the world around it. And will be more so unless it responds to the changes happening in the world. It can not be business as usual. It should never be business as usual.
We need to remove a lot of the programs we have and begin to build relationally. We need to stop preaching verse by verse, book by book and start to teach as Jesus did … using things that were happening in the world and worldly activities to speak bible truths in a way that people could understand and wrestle with the principles and truths. Less performance by a worship team and more leadership into His presence during worship. We need to stop yelling at the darkness – whatever version of darkness your particular branch of the church thinks is #1 evil – and start being the ‘quiet’ salt and leaven in the loaf of life. Instead of yelling at he darkness try being the light in the darkness. And, the list of foundational, basic changes needed goes on and on.
- No longer see pastors leading a church – but adopt the biblical fivefold ministry model
- Stop using roles within the Church as titles for those in the ministry – Paul always said, “Paul, an apostle” and did not say, “Apostle Paul” using his role as an official title
- Teach to touch the heart and not just fill the head – in another words, teach for life transformation and not head information
- Cut out the performances – both in the pulpit and on stage during worship
- The Church not being led by a single person but by a team of elders
- Women taking their rightful role in ministry as allowed in the New Testament Church
- Every member trained and equipped to be a minister and touch people with the love of Jesus
- Becoming supernaturally empowered by receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and stop fighting theologically over something that was taken for granted for believers in the early church
- Stop thinking you are right and everyone else who does not think like you is wrong. Pull down the arrogant, prideful, opinions which, according to Paul, are strongholds that keep you from experiencing the fullness of the life Jesus wants you to have
- Stop investing in buildings and start truly investing in people – the poor, those caught up in sex trafficking, the hungry, those in prison. And, not as a program but as a way of life
As I said, the list of needed and beneficial changes could go on and on. It just cannot be business as usual any longer. The world needs to hear and, more importantly, see the Gospel of the Kingdom.
This is the one thing that never changes….