Thursday, June 17, 2010
Religion - Stumbling Blocks to Doing God's Will
The first discussion was a lot of back and forth on what's wrong with the church, and what's wrong with society. Some thought we should move forward and other back. Some blamed education, others government and liberalism. There were some edgy remarks regarding woman in the church, Pentecostals, that role of politics and some other subjects such as edification and authority.
It was almost out of control, and certainly needed some moderation.
I tried to press for solutions, and I got some pretty standard answers.
- Returning to our first love
- Ridding ourselves of worldly influences
- Just do God's will
- Read the Bible
Nothing surprising to me at all.
What I find interesting, is that no one said what they would do exactly. I then posted a follow up discussion asking that specific question. You are going to engage your culture, and I gave them 5 like minded individuals, $1,000, and God's blessing. Still more theory. Today, I am going to answer my own question.
Let me preface it by saying, I think the church has issues, God is not asleep (maybe we are), and if YOU don't do something, then who will?
Any church of 2 or more, needs a foundation which includes the following elements according to Scripture. In particular, Ephesians 4.
- Vision: the church, regardless of what stage it is in: new, maturing, experienced congregation or mega-church etc., has to look like something when it is done. It needs a burden from God, a goal and a mission; which are the elements of vision. Without vision, how would we know what to pray for?
- Apostolic Plan: the church, like any other project needs a plan. In the kingdom, plans need to be flexible enough to allow God free reign, and structured enough to achieve a godly vision. Remember the church is a living breathing organism that consumes raw culture and turns it into the Kingdom of God.
- Prophetic Insight: A church that just does programs and imitates other supposedly successful churches is in trouble of falling into the religious quagmire. Prophetic people bring a fresh and focused sense of direction. Prophetic revelation is a detailed way of moving ahead, ultimately achieving the plan.
- Prayer: The church is a house of prayer, and it should be praying into existance the apostolic plan, and the supporting the prophetic vision. It is the oil that keeps the church running smoothly. Prayer is the communication between the the planners, the builders, and the workers.
- Ongoing Pastoral Care, Worship, Teaching and Evangelism: It is essential that the church be able to disciple its own, and bring new folks into the fray. These services need to be part of a bigger plan. Having a Sunday service is NOT a plan.
That is the foundation for the church I envision. I do have a vision to train and disciple others. I am just looking for places to plug in with my gifting.
What do you think, should we just set out and pray, or repent, or try to be loving?