It is time to discuss new expressions of church. Pandemic has made it clear that there have been some needed adjustments to make and corners to turn.
Here are a few of the things that have become clearer to me:
The corporate/industrial model of churches ruled by executives is dying. It was a slow death but the pace is accelerating. We must have those in the “lead” relinquish the parts of their role that are unbiblical…to release their hold over the church body and release people to use their gifts and serve the kingdom and church body. Elders need to stop deaconing. Deacons need to “deac”…members need to be encouraged to minister. Ministers need to empowered rather than neutered.
Large gatherings with massive amounts of overhead are also (for many) becoming less appealing and potentially less effective than grass roots models. That isn’t to say large gatherings and large congregations won’t carry it. That also isn’t to say the grassroots path is an easier road. It is to say that we can no longer put all our eggs in the big church basket.
The issues we discuss have to change – from in-house bickering and turf defending to launching out on kingdom mission…investing and inviting a future generation into ownership of ministry and mission. Our conversations have become more and more out of touch with reality and it is starting to bite.
It is time we move toward a more robust trust in the work of the Holy Spirit. I believe many more acknowledge the Spirit’s work but few live like it is true, in my experience. This shift must be made for us to have a vibrant future.
There are many other things that can be listed. None of them anger or upset me. I am hopeful. But I am convinced that if God doesn’t have our attention now, I don’t know what it will take for Him to get us listening.
In times like this we need clear vision and we need fearless leaders willing to execute the vision. We need a community of people determined to see the changes and make them. We need new churches to spring up with new DNA – take the best and leave the worst of our heritage and move into a future we have been positioned for doctrinally and financially for decades.
What is holding us back?
Let us not bury our talent and merely try to hold on. Let us unswervingly and daringly advance God’s kingdom in whatever corner of creation we find ourselves! Are you with me?