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  • Why was this site started?

    slide06.jpgLet us begin with a very important fact. The goal of the site is not to criticize traditional or institutional churches. Yes, some of the articles make comparisons and some of the writers do strongly question traditional practices. However, those of us who have created this site did so for several reasons:

  • Our Best Articles

    bestartikle.jWe have over one hundred articles available on our site, so if you are a new visitor, you may be overwhelmed. Where should you start? Here you will find some of our best articles that we have posted since the s...

  • Incarnational Practices

    slide05.jpgYou are church before you do church. This is one of the fueling insights of the missional church movement. This isn't a new idea...but it is pretty provocative, especially when one considers its implications. If we take Jesus at his word when he says (as recorded in John 20:21) "as the Father has sent me, I am sending you," then we realize that our being sent is the basis of our "doing" church. In oth...

  • What is an Organic Church?

    slide04.jpg Organic Church. I've been using this term for around fifteen years now. Today it's become somewhat of a clay word, being molded and shaped to mean a variety of different things by a variety of different people.

    T. Austin-Sparks is the man who deserves credit for this term. Here's his definition:


Church Is Not An Institution! PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 22 October 2012 08:52

What immediately comes to mind when you hear the word ‘church’?

If you are anything like me, a whole bag of things – some wonderful, some neutral and some unhealthy.

Unfortunately the unhealthy and negative connotations have some elements of truth to them.  For instance, how often have you talked with someone who is open to following Jesus, but who is not interested in being part of a church (usually driven by their previous experiences)?

For the first Christians, church meant a Jesus-centered community on a common mission. Built around the oikos – or extended household – these were flexible, vibrant communities of faith, where Jesus was followed and glorified in the everyday realities of life.  The key glue was Holy Spirit infused relationships with one another.  This meant that friends, neighbors, colleagues and family could easily be folded in, as they experienced for themselves the Kingdom of God in their local context.

The problem came with the institutionalization of the church.  Dynamic body-life was increasingly exchanged for (clerical) control, centralization and complacency.  Jim Palmer has produced a fantastic summary list of 10 Implied Messages of Institutional Church – quick to read, far longer to transform.

10 Implied Messages of Institutional Church Because The Medium Is The Message:

1. Church is a place, a location, a building.

2. Christianity happens in services, classes, meetings, events, and programs.

3. What people need most is good information about God.

4. “God’s work” needs organizational or corporate infrastructure.

5. The more control the better; no telling what people will do if left to themselves.

6. It’s best you let us decide how to use and distribute your money.

7. Depend on us for the spiritual formation of your children; we are trained.

8. The bigger the church, the better.

9. People are more valuable and spiritual based on how often they are there and how much they give.

10. Relationships happen in group meetings.

Yet transformation is our responsibility.  As you look at your church environment, hopefully you don’t see all ten present!  However, which ones do have some resonance for you?  Maybe use this as a reflection exercise with your leadership team.

Church is the most incredible idea – we are Jesus’ body, a vibrant expression of His life and love!  Let’s make sure that we are living out church in a way that really is in accord with Jesus’ dream for His bride.

The Challenge:

- The thinking that has got us into the problem will not get us out of the problem

- Need to identify the wrong-thinking that led to the the mess (the values, the ethics, the paradigm thinking)

- Need to replace it with Biblical thinking.

 

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