ReThinking Church, Part 1 – Dangerous Questions

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.

  1. What if we really examined the modern perception of church with the NT paradigm?
  2. What would we discover?
  3. What if we were courageous enough to adopt what we discover?
  4. What if we were free enough to practice it to our generation?
  5. 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?

Related posts:
ReThinking Church – Part 2, Church is not a Building
ReThinking Church Series

4 thoughts on “ReThinking Church, Part 1 – Dangerous Questions

  1. Hey Terry. I appreciate your thoughts and very much agree. The answer is not rejection of the church because she is God’s chosen Bride. At the same time, we cannot passively accept her state right now. We cannot be defined by our facilities (large, non-existent or small). We have to be defined by our love for one another and our willingness to join God on His mission. I think many people are happy falling through the cracks because they have never really experienced the love of God from the Church and have never understood the heart of His mission.

    Thanks for your insights!

    1. Amen, John. Well said brother! Oh, that the Lord would consume us with His great Love that others may encounter the power of Calvary! Look forward to your thoughts and input as we begin walking through many areas in this topic series. Thanks for sharing…

  2. Good topic brother. And I love your warning about not just bashing the Bride. We need to always be careful not to idealize the NT church and set it up as a kind of idol. At the same time, we need to not just roll over it and deny its power and processes as irrelevant to our time.

    Here’s one of the things i think would change if we asked such courageous questions: A new wind of vitality would sweep through our churches and new missional strength would begin to help us penetrate the culture for Christ. That would be a great end result!

    1. Marty,
      I know that “new wind of vitality” is your burden and desire…it is also mine. May the Lord grant, through prayers and faithfulness, the harvest from this culture! Thanks for insight…and your heart!

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