Tuesday, September 06, 2016
BACK TO CENTER
Ten years ago my family and I made a conscious decision to step away from the traditional church model in favor of a more organic form of church.
Instead of pastor-centric gatherings, we wanted everyone in the Body of Christ to use their spiritual gifts to build up one another.
Instead of a programmatic order of service, we wanted to embrace the freedom we all have in Christ to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Maybe you've been there?
Here's what I've noticed: Some groups tend to swing too far in one direction and miss the point entirely.
For example: You say your group doesn't want to be pastor-led, but does that mean you should have total chaos instead? Is that really what we see in the New Testament ekklesia?
In fact, Paul even makes a point to say "For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace", and he does so in the very same chapter that many organic churches look to find their model. [See 1 Cor. 14:33]
Here's the real problem: The ekklesia isn't about liturgy or a lack of liturgy. It isn't about structures we choose or the celebration of our freedom in the gathering.
The ekklesia is about Jesus.
If you miss that, you've missed the entire point.
So, let me ask you: How does your gathering place Jesus at the center?
Better yet: Imagine what would happen if Jesus physically appeared to everyone in your church gathering. How different would that gathering be compared to the way your meetings currently look?
Now, let me remind you of something: Jesus IS in your midst every single time you gather together in His name.
If you could see Jesus with your eyes and hear Him with your ears, your meeting would probably look different, I'm guessing.
But since you know, by faith, that Jesus IS in your meeting, what can you do to see Him and hear Him better?
The answer to that question is exactly what your organic church should be working on together - every time you meet.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
*Sit silently together with your heads bowed and your eyes closed
*Wait on Jesus to reveal Himself to you
*Only speak to Jesus, not to one another
*Sing spontaneous songs of worship to Him
*Thank Him for His goodness
*Praise Him for His majesty
*Read specific scriptures out loud that speak of His wonder, and power and love [See Col. 1:15-22; Romans 8:31-39; Rev. 5; Heb. 1:1-13; Eph.3:14-21, etc.]
*Continually work together to keep Jesus the center of your attention for as long as you can
More and more, your organic church can begin to experience the presence of Jesus in your meetings if you will collaborate together in this way to realize His authority over each of you, and to submit completely to His leadership.
If you try this, please share your experiences in the comments below or send me an email to let me know how it goes!
I can't wait to hear how the Lord Jesus reveals Himself to your church family.