the last time I wrote here, I talked about the current makeup of the Local Church being dysfunctional. What is needed is a different setting. In 1994 after much abuse I had suffered from churches and ministries, I returned to my home town, to a group which used to meet in a house of a good friend of mine. The Group was made up of people the Lord connected me to for the previous 4 years.
I was really needing a break. That year God took me to home town, told me would be for 1 year. I landed there in March 1994 and left in March 1995. I landed on the 14th, and went to Portugal on 14th the year later. What precision!!!
The group would have lunch together, laugh together, pray together, share the Word together. I am a firm believer in family groupings. It was awesome, and God made me rest that year.
I believe this is the key. Family Groups, friends. For a new approach to Church.
This brings in a more intimate environment to develop interpersonal relationships, wholesome activities. There is a better atmosphere for trust and for horizontal faithfulness in the treatment of the group.
The main symptoms that the “local Church” is dysfunctional is the level of corporate insecurity which brings in competitiveness, envy, jealousies, gossip, slander, manipulation of individual destiny behind closed doors and hidden meetings.
I have to admit I have seen it all. I have seen recently how a man in a church, serving under a local and visionary pastor, divide off and take the whole congregation with him. Needless to say the church closed.
I have seen and heard of a number of abuses on people that have marked them for life. One man said that the Church gave him a breakdown, so much so that he cannot go to any now. Does that mean that he is no longer a believer?
No…you don’t go to Church, we are the Church.
I think the being aspect has been replaced by DOING meetings, HAVING MEETINGS…
I do not discount the need of a central meeting point, but it is not the sustaining factor.
So what makes it so dysfunctional?
The lack of structure, lack of vision, lack of intimacy, lack of personal and corporate vision for ministry on spiritual, soul and body level.
And also the pursuit of comfort. This pursuit of comfort and personal fulfilment has corrupted for the most part, the most IMPORTANT MOTIVE for meeting. TO MEET JESUS CHRIST, WHO IS WORTHY OF PRAISE.
I am particularly searching for this once again. I have served faithfully in congregations but I have seen the dysfunction and abuses take place. I have seen congregations change visions, go down blind alleys doctrinally wise. I have seen some MANUFACTURE so called revivals. We really need to see what true revival is, not judging by human standards. But by history and Biblical guidelines. And being open and discerning.
I have seen some shipwreck their faith through offence. Leaders are very difficult to talk and dialogue with, especially if they’re confronted by spiritual dimensions they do not move in. They openly reject, and their own ministry dry and dead.
The Baptist movement prayed for revival, and got it with tongues. Some rejected, but we have a movement moving very fast. In Brazil it is the one evangelical church fastest growing.
It actually also goes beyond house groups, its a question of us Christians, facing up to facts. We can be just as materialistic, consumers of comfort, and dysfunctional as regards character that we can put to shame some non-believers.
I am not sharing from frustration or offence, I am simply receiving from the Lord a wake up call. Jesus even said that when the Son of Man will come, will be similar to the days of Noah. The routine, never ending will be taken for granted. We must wake up.
So, God is challenging us, not because it is 2010, no.
It is because: “the fullness of time…” has come. Pleroma is the Greek word for this. It means that God waits…till the “fullness comes.” Fullness of what? Wickedness and sin, and revival too. You see in Genesis 15 that this principle comes out. Abraham did not take possession of the land till the 4th generation, because the possession in itself was a judgment.
How much of our advances will be judgments on the earth?
The judgmental prophet needs to take Jeremiah as an example. Weep before he declares judgment on fellow men. Jonah, who loved to proclaim the judgment on Nineveh, was never prepared for such a turn back to God. He was angry. So it is in these days….if we are going to prophesy, let us imagine the implications. For Jeremiah, he lost home, everything.
Yes, we are an immediate people. God is not. His Plan runs from eternity to eternity.