My apologies for not get back sooner but I’m slowly getting back into the rhythms of home life once again. After spending a good portion of last week travelling along the central coast of Californiawith my wife, I needed a few days to recover from travelling (i.e. driving) but I am now feeling refreshed and renewed by our getaway. Now back to the blog….
A little over three months ago I decided to go underground in relation to the church. I began participating in an organic church to walk the talk of my faith and theological leanings. I have survived and thrived in the process. My creative side has been stirred up once again. My idealism regarding a perfect church has been shattered. Overall, I still love the church because of the love of Christ in me for her. I will remain hopeful that the church, the Body of Christ, will rise up to new levels of expressing the love and ministry of Christ but in ways one might not expect. In light of this, here are a few tentative observations for those seeking organic church life.
The Cross – A great deal of teaching and preaching regarding the cross has gone forth. Most of the teaching reflects and delves into to finished work of Christ on the cross, that is, Christ for us. The often over looked teaching is that of the work of the cross in us. That often painful process of having Christ formed in us, individually and corporately. For the sake of Christian community, embrace the cross, take it up and let die what needs to die so the life of Christ may be revealed.
Be Ready – Organic church life is open and participatory allowing the saints to function together under the headship of Jesus Christ. In such an environment, the responsibility of what happens in a meeting rests on all the brothers and sisters involved. Don’t think you can be involved in such a meeting and not say anything. Although the problem arises of those who speak too much and those who speak too little, when the opportunity is right, you have the privilege of sharing what the Lord is doing. You never know the power of what you share unless you share it.
Listen – This takes patience and time to begin to understand. Hearing the Lord in an organic meeting requires listening to the still small voice of the Spirit. This can range from speaking prophetically because of the fire in your bones to sharing something with a brother or sister that seems like a hunch or just came to mind. Sometimes the voice whispers, other times the voice seems to speak rather loudly. No matter the perceived volume of the speaking of the Spirit, speak when the opportunity arises. This requires a certain wisdom that gains traction in the midst of an open participatory meeting.
I said all that to say this. I’m still not sure when I’ll darken the door of a church building. Do I still love the brothers and sisters who gather in those places? Yes. Do I still have hope for the church in all her expressions? Yes, because her future is glorious. Do I believe institutional churches can change? Yes, because some brave souls embrace the cross and desire nothing more than the Lord Jesus Christ. I may be cynical, jaded and discontented, but I know Christ can work past that and through that. He is my hope and salvation.