I am discouraged with many things right now. I have listened to people talk about a growing faith and yet, I see so little going on with people. I have listened to people talk about organic church and have attended numerous meetings and been a part of a “organic” church, only to realize that there was nothing in this group that could not be achieved in a “institutional” church. The difference, more people pick the songs and can interact, but there still seems to be a strong lack of “realness” in the meeting time.
No one talks about what is going on in their lives, it is still heavily predicated on teaching some obscure passage. The walls that guard the individuals hearts are still there and there is not even a brick removed. Everyone comes in with a preconceived idea about what the meeting should look like and how it should function. There is a leader. Whether they want to admit it or not, someone always seems to rise up and be the leader. When confronted about the situation, it is a matter of defending the actions.
I believe in organic church. I believe that the Lord has a message for His body of believers, but I believe that we must be willing to let go of everything and rely completely on Him in order for that message to truly be heard. We must be willing to open ourselves up to being hurt in order to hear the message of the Lord. The true problem that exists, is the same problem that plagues the “institutional” church. Man is involved. Man cannot ever be truly stripped of all flesh. And within that flesh will always be pride. There will always be an innate idea that “my” perception of how things should be is a divine revelation. And we will fight for that vision to be realized. At times to the point of cutting others off. At times to the point of ignoring the opportunity to see the Lord work in ways that we have never experienced before. We end up building more walls and less relationships. We diminish our ability to share and delight in the Lord for the sake of being “right” or creating an environment that we are comfortable with.
If our focus is to create a comfortable environment, then we are merely looking to build our own institution. We are trying to pre-screen for people that will think and be just like us. We obviously desire people to be chasing after the Lord, but when we define and limit how they experience and express themselves in worship, we are merely creating a new church with a multi-headed pastorate. We just aren’t brave enough to admit that is what it is. We can call it organic, but it is not a living expression of Jesus Christ. Those systems are simply a new Babylon.
If we want to be a living expression of Jesus Christ, then we must be willing to accept things we are not comfortable with. We must address those things with the body of believers and open the floor for all believers to be involved. We must strive to let go of self. If you want Christ to be in control, then you must clear out as much individualism as you can. We all must remember that we are a body. We are not simply individual soldiers in an army that “can” survive on our own, we are a body. We are built to be in constant connection to the Lord. We must remove as much of “me” in order to be completely filled with Christ. We must be able to acknowledge that we cannot survive separated from Him.
It is simple in theory, but almost impossible in practice. It will be impossible in practice if we never open ourselves up to be questioned and called out.