Sunday, December 04, 2005
I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of church, especially since our most recent trip to Set Free Church (Hollywood) and the chance we had to participate in God’s work in the inner city. What a blessing that trip was, just to watch God transform lives. But after the trip was over, I think God challenged me to rethink the nature of “church” and exactly what it is that we are here to do…
I realized that the goal of the Set Free movement is so very clear: to transform lives in a powerful way that moves people from their current position of bondage and addiction to a place of freedom in Christ! What a powerful mission! And if the Set Free church does its job correctly, the people who come into the church on a Saturday Night will surrender their lives to Christ and have the opportunity to move on to a ranch environment that will forever free them from their addiction and expose them to the gracious gift of God. If the church does its job right, those same folks will likely never return to the Set Free Church Hollywood, and if they do, they’ll end up returning as leaders. They will eventually find themselves “blessed out” to some other place in the Set Free paradigm, learning to work again, learning to be responsible again, and learning to depend on Christ for the first time.
The goal of the church is quite simply to transform lives, not grow a church on Saturday Night. Wow, that really impressed me and challenged me to rethink what church should be all about. When I think about how much money is required to sustain a church (to pay the rent, pay the salaries and fund the ‘programs’), I can’t help but wonder if all that money couldn’t be better spent in growing the Kingdom in a more effective way (what I mean is, to simply share the truth of Christ with people who are seeking, who are in need, or simply in bondage). The Church in America has become a PLACE, a destination, a building or a group. It is no longer a MOVEMENT.
Just thinking out loud here, but I can’t help but wonder how we can move away from ‘Church’ and toward ‘Movement’. That has really always been my dream all along. And in the next year I do believe that it just may be time to earnestly seek Christ in a way that rethinks the nature of Church and my role within the Movement. I am still grateful to my time with Set Free Church. It has helped me to rethink my Christian Life altogether…
please visit us at www.PleaseConvinceMe.com!