These are the words God whispered,
but that literally thundered in our hearts as we were on
our way to Pasadena, California to attend a
conference on the Post-denominational Church. There were six of us,
"ministry leaders" on a quest that none of us understood that day but
now, a dozen years later, it is coming clearly into view.
Much has been written in the past few years as
Christian thinkers and prophets have considered the great, earth-shaking
changes that are coming to the church structure worldwide. Words such
as "deconstruction," "reformation" "revolution" and "paradigm shift" have
been used to attempt to describe what many in the body of
Christ have sensed and felt.
As I've journeyed to understand what God
is doing in our times, I've examined over and over the
concepts of what the church was actually intended by God to be as opposed
to the thing we have made it throughout history and in our own generation.
I've discovered that much of what we call "church" is the product of our
convenience, culture and tradition, but not the result of hearing and
obeying the directives of God.
Mine is not merely a desperate response to a
I believe that God is pro-actively leading His
church into a form in keeping with Abraham's faith: "for he waited for the
city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Heb.11:10) .
I have witnessed a "holy frustration" and a
sometimes not so quiet
expectancy that is filling the hearts of Christian people
and in Europe. I've received a mountain of emails from every continent of
the globe testifying of the many who are hearing the same things we are
hearing. Many are unable to quantify what they're feeling. Some are
fearful of speaking out what they sense, but most echo the same sentiment:
The church, as it is must go. It's as though God's pillar of fire by
night and His cloud by day have moved, but the church has not moved with
Him. Our old forms have caused us to become increasingly irrelevant to a
world around us. And while our belief systems never change, and while we
continue to hold to the same truths the Christ and the apostles have given
us, our methods of reaching out to our generation must always be available
for change. Our clergy-dominated, professional-focused, centralized
ministry paradigms have prompted thinking (and hurting) people to walk away
from our temples in droves. Churches that should be growing radically (if
their self-generated PR is to be believed) are in fact shrinking.
The whole concept of "denominationalism" is fading in significance. Meanwhile, society is crying out for relevancy, for truth, for help
in negotiating the morass of moral questions and practical issues faced on a
If anything you've read here seems to resonate with you
- welcome to the (growing) family!
You are not alone and you are not
(necessarily) strange. God is at work in us personally and in His church
corporately wrestling away our comfortable conventions so that He can
replace them with a Living, Breathing, Life-Giving Church that will shine
His light into the lives of men everywhere.
The One Who promised, "I will build My church..." is at
work fulfilling His promise.