If we are going to reach our generation, especially those growing up in our post-christian culture and homes, and falling through the cracks of our outreach programs, we must rethink church. Our Western culture has inbred in us, and passed down to us, a view and model of church which appears to be foreign to what we see in Scriptures.
This is not an ‘anti-establishment’ diatribe of what most of us have called church. Neither is it an attack against denominationalism. I’ve pastored, ministered and spoken in various denominations for nearly 30 years. I love God’s people and the promise Jesus made to “build His Church.” (Matt. 16:18) And therein lies the impetus into the questions we will examine. It starts with the simple and honest question, “What exactly did Jesus promise to build?” Does our modern concept of Church in the West resemble what Jesus intended to build?
When we are willing to take an honest look at the Church, and at the Scriptures, there are 5 very dangerous questions we can ask ourselves.
- What if we really examined the modern perception of church with the NT paradigm?
- What would we discover?
- What if we were courageous enough to adopt what we discover?
- What if we were free enough to practice it to our generation?
- What would it look like?
I am not looking for knee jerk reactions from individuals who reject ‘church’ because of their own anti-authority, anti-social and anti-establishment proclivities. In maturity, we should be free to ask these questions. Also, as long as our view does not fall into the youthful and militant trap of forcing NT freedoms (absence of permanent facilities) and NT necessities (home gatherings) into mandatory forms, I think we will discover a wealth of insights to remove the grave clothes from our modern view of church. This is just our starting point…so jump in!
What are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Why?