I have been thinking about the Church a lot recently. This might seem a strange comment to make considering that I have given the last 35+ years to working for the Lord and in His Church. I have planted a number of churches, I teach leaders of churches, I help to lead a small Network of churches, and my life’s work, since my salvation experience, has been in the Church in numerous nations.
However, in spite of my involvement in the Church, I seldom take time to sit and think about “the Church.” I teach, I deal with problems, I work with leaders, I help bring churches back to health after they have suffered a setback or a decline. This keeps me busy enough dealing with “Church as it is.” But, church “as it is” is not always Church as God intended it. Nor, in any stretch of the imagination, is it “Church as it is going to be.”
God’s blueprint for His Church – and we must never forget that it is HIS CHURCH – is being revealed to apostles worldwide today and we are about to see some major shifts in the way the Church functions. That means the way we “do church” will be changing drastically. The daily “life” of the Church is about to go through some massive adjustments.
But before that occurs (or as that occurs) we will see some changes in the way we think of and view God’s Church. We need to come to a different understanding of what the Church is to be so we can then cooperate with the Holy Spirit in bringing change to how the church works. This will then help us to come to a new understanding about what it is to do. Notice the order – what we are to BE first and then what we are to DO. A change in our understanding of the Church and then a resulting change in what we do and how we do it.
I believe that the Church is broken. I believe that what we see today as “Church” is not one that the Lord has built. And, remember, He did say “I will build My Church.” I believe that many who sit in Sunday worship believing they are right with God – are not; they think that they are born again because they said a ‘sinner’s prayer’ but are simply “tares” growing next to some wheat. I believe that the heart of the Savior is not known nor therefore being expressed in the majority of churches today. I believe we have lost our focus and our raison d’etre.
I believe we have entered a season of radical change as the Lord (quoting Jeremiah) tears down and uproots what is so that he can plant and build His Church. I am excited about what is about to happen.
Part Two tomorrow….