Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I used to say that the Church in America needs to go out of business. But now I believe that the best thing that could possibly happen to the church in America is for it to just lay down and die.

Forget about business as usual. Forget about that new program or the next church growth seminar. Forget about hiring a new pastor or cranking up the volume on the worship team.

Seriously? Just die.

Jesus was pretty clear that no one could possibly follow Him unless they first took up their cross daily and died to themselves. That’s what the Church needs to do. She needs to die.

Without death, there can be no resurrection. Without death, the life of Christ cannot be released into the Church.

We all know you can have better worship bands and still not have Christ in your midst. You can also have a great preacher and still not have Jesus at the center.

In fact, you can have all the best programs, staff, doctrine, leaders, facilities and an unlimited budget and still not have the heartbeat of Jesus at the core of your Church.

So, that’s why we all need to die. So that Christ can live in us and resurrect us from within.

As a wise man once said, “unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers toil in vain.”

Another wise man said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. Without me you can do nothing.”

So, maybe it’s time for our churches to die. Neil Cole, in his book “Church Transfusion”, even goes as far as to suggest that every church hold an actual memorial service to celebrate all the good things that our old way of doing and being church used to stand for. Dig a hole in the ground and drop in everything that symbolizes that old way of church. Say a few words. Sing some favorite songs. Enjoy some pies after the service. Go home and mourn for church-as-we-once-knew-it.

Next week, host a Baby Shower. Talk about what this new life might look like. Pray together and ask the Lord to show you as a people what His will and His plans and His purpose for your church might be.

Don’t use this as an opportunity to manipulate people into doing things your way. That’s the old church formula that you buried the week before. Instead, listen to Jesus. Really. Pray and ask Him to speak to you as a Body and wait for His direction. Not just to the senior pastor (like you used to do) but to the entire Body. As Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd, and my sheep hear my voice”.

Scripture tells us that, “if anyone lacks wisdom let him ask” so go to Jesus and ask Him. Then, do whatever He says.

If our churches in America would honestly lay down everything they have been clinging to and die to their old ways, then the power of Christ which is made perfect in weakness would be released within us. The resurrection of the Church would begin. And this nation, and the people of God, would be empowered to live surrendered lives of service to one another and the world.

Let’s all lay down and die. The Church needs a resurrection. The World needs a resurrected Church. We all need Jesus to live and breathe in us today.



Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree. However ... what would it mean, concretely? File for bankrupcy, lay off full time churchworkers? Sell the building or terminate leases, raise enough funds to pay off all debts before leaving the sanctuary?

Keith Giles said...

Yes, this choice to die to what you have known before will be difficult, but if we love Jesus and we have a desire to obey Him, then we have to do what He says and die so that His life can be birthed in us.

In my opinion, the Church shouldn't be in business in the first place. The Church isn't a franchise, it's a family. Would you run your family like a business? Hopefully not. So, part of what the Church needs to repent from is being in the business of doing business rather than being the people God called us to be.

You can read more about this radical idea in my book This Is My Body (which is available as a free eBook at the link on the right, or at www.WeAreTheTemple.com).