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Darrin Patrick, Ryan Kelly, and Ray Ortlund discuss: Are churches too busy to be effective?
Here again we have an example of how “Western” people/Christians are prone to have a social construct that is frequently battling the “organization” versus “organism” form and function. Even as these dear brothers talk, their language is loaded with carefully articulated “corporate speak”. Ray Ortlund sounded the most relaxed in his explaining the phenomenon. I agree that most churches need to “deconstruct” in order to be revived. The busyness of the church is not indicative of its spirituality. Having pastored for 18 years I know exactly how it’s a struggle to get a congregation to look at its spirituality without sounding like they are being criticized. Human nature has a tendency to be very defensive when “practice” and “territory” are in question, even when done Biblically.
It isn’t Corporate speak at all. Church has to be God centered and Ministeries within the Church are called by God to be there for the people. Plain and simple. In our Church, we have different support groups i.e. GA, AA and NA as well as ladies groups, Bible Study, playgroup and prayer group as well as normal Sunday services. There are other services as well. Revival takes place when individuals repent and there is forgiveness within the Church and the community. There is a Bible Study called emotionally healthy spirtuality which is really good.
I can hardly wait to watch this same video in about 30 years. But that’s neither here nor there…
To take one step further with deconstructing programs: how about dissolution of type 501(c)(3) non-profit religious organizations (States only)? The church and state are in bed with each other under such an arrangement. The church needs to function 100% completely independent of government recognition. We keep preaching “separation of church and state,” but that’s the VERY thing we’re doing by organizing as a non-profit corporation. But let’s identify the elephant in the room with regards to that: pastors’ careers, paycheck, benefits, and pension–mostly to which I have no objection (the worker is worthy of his wages), but it’s taking the churches captive.
Also, we could ditch our specialized buildings (temples/synagogues). Same thing: we preach “church is not a building” at the very same time we have building programs.
“Organic” would take more effort, though, than just ditching programs or “ministries” (programs; same thing).
On the positive, consider how the early believers in the book of Acts functioned: not perfect, but where are their special buildings that aren’t really churches? Where are their charters on register with the Roman government? In what way did they ever seek to legitimize the message with Rome as if they needed Rome’s permission? Paul’s defenses weren’t designed to keep himself or the church out of hot water; he cared about establishing the kingdom in each individual. He turned his court trials and hearings into platforms for preaching the good news to ALL people–great and small.
In the same way, why is it that we insist on the one pastor to one church model? Why do we insist on an eldership and deaconate that only reflect our American way of doing government (President, House of Reps, Senate, and sometimes a judiciary committee)?
you have really blessed me
More worship and less programs will equal more prayer and God will send us out as He sees fit.
The Church is so busy with programs “God can keep God”!
Thanks great challenge! The simplicity to have the time and space to hear him… Life is already quite busy to make the church the same. What has HE call us to do? The ? For all.
Very good and true. Thanks for sharing.
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came on every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
Acts 2:42-47 One version reads “simplicity of mind” instead of “singleness of heart”. Ray is hitting the mark! Gathering daily at the temple was part of their culture and economy. Once they were forbidden to preach there I imagine it tapered off and was only necessary for commerce. They were clearly gathering in homes later in the book of Acts, praying for Peter, listening to Paul, etc.
It has never made sense to me to pay for maintaining a building 24/7 for only hours per week of real use :/
Home church facilitators/coordinators with groups of 12 (wink wink) and larger city church gatherings according to the way Paul operated using a teaching/discussion setting (the Tyrannus effect) in a rented building. All the money that is not used to keep a gargantuan building empty all week can go to those in genuine need…..evident because they visit with the other 11 at someone’s home!! When it gets too large because people really want to be there……split up and see each other at the city wide gatherings. God’s got this!
God has called us to do what God wants us to do – Amen
the truth is if God is not in charge and leading us we don’t need to be there any way, we are just playing church, but if we have the presence’s of God he will lead and direct you and that is all that matter’s, what we want as people and not being led by the spirit, then the devil is leading us , there is the spirit and the flesh when people want there wayit’s the flesh the spirit of error, and they are led by the devil, ther nothing more boring than having to put up with people of the flesh, when you follow and move in the spirit it’s two different world’s, and today they want to take the holy spirit out of every thing, every thing you hear is trying to dispower discredit the holy spirit, and that cut’s God out, and that’s what the flesh want’s, why the is the natural just do what you feel, and the spirit take’s work you have to get on your face and pray and seek God’s face and study your bible and really work to be some thing in God’s eye’s but to please men just let the rich and any body with earthly power[devilish power] run the church and that’s wrong if God’s not running the church then it’s just a meeting and in a meeting you do what you want, but church is being in the presence of God and he run’s thing’s not you or any man, and that is what we are losing is the presence of God and when that’s gone don’t call it church it’s a meeting and God has nothing to do with it, oh there’s a lot of churche’s being led of the spirit today but it’s not God’s spirit [theholy spirit] and that is sicking to me and any one who doe’s there best to let God have control of every thing follow his spirit [the holy spirit] you let God’s presence’s be there and you want have to figure out what to do next God will tell you, there’s a remnant who want God’s presence and won’t confirmize . We need the presence of God is what we need. pastor Roger Culwell
It probably should be no surprise that no examples are given. What defines a program? What defines a ministry? Can a program be put into place to fulfill a ministry? Who decides? If I were a betting man (I’m not) I’d wager that both of these guys have “programs” in their churches. They just don’t call them that.
Steve I agree. Never was an example of they define as a program.
I would agree as well. It is great to say discipleship happens organically but what does that practically mean when it comes to training our children, youth etc. Call it ministry, discipleship or a program, most thriving churches have some kind of children’s ministry/program/discipleship method.
I agree with the message. Before being placed at a small congregation, I was a member of a large church. Not lacking in programs, dinners, training courses, etc it was just too much. I continued as a member, but found myself dropping many of the programs and activities that I was use to attending. In all this God was hardly ever mentioned; as if we’d forgotten our purpose or our focus outside of money and money for a bigger church. Plus, all the needs seemed to be outside of the church giving the feeling of a false insecurity, judgements, and pious service towards others. My husband and I were probably the lowest on the social economic level and both of us realized where our bread and butter was coming from, that’s The Lord. However, even in Sunday school classes the talk was of helping people outside of the church and starting another program. Additionally, preachers have a propensity to cater to those of wealth and influence in the church. It is easy to pick-up on those with the power in so much as just the way the minister carries him/herself around them. I begin the process towards ordainment several years ago and being on the inside is not pretty. I have learned so much through this process along with the politics that are so prevalent in the church. I truly believe getting back to what the original intent of the church would bring in wounded soldiers who are ready to heal, letting the pastor be the pastor and preach the gospel, and church it on Sunday and missions during the week. The missions of the church should be people of the church going out and reaching out to the lost so that they may be found. If we leave the church and reach out in fellowship towards others we are able to count our blessings not look down on those without.
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