The Making Of A New Form, New Image, New Body, The Church

From Caterpillar to Cocoon to Butterfly – Part III

In the last two blogs we were introduced to the possibility that Church structure may be entering a metamorphous stage: coming from being a slow cumbersome caterpillar structural format to eventually becoming a soaring butterfly structure of networking relationships.  How do we get from a caterpillar who consumes everything around it to maintain its life and form to a sleek bodied transformed caterpillar prepared for flight?  What happens in that cocoon which on the outside looks so dormant?  What is happening inside that cocoon that can change a fat, big eyed, multi legged, creature eating everything in its path to a sleek, highly defined hard shelled segmented insect like body with beautiful wings for flight?  The physical structure of the two looks so drastically different, performs so drastically different, and whose purpose is so drastically different.

 If, in our analogy, the caterpillar represents a structural church, very slow in change and movement, segmented with each segment having legs, with a tremendous appetite to maintains its growth while the butterfly represents a relational church in a different form or structure with the purpose for flight, light weight, highly mobile, and eats only the nectar of plants.  I’ve had to burn down caterpillars nests to save trees for their destructive eating habits, but I also nurtured a butterfly bush that was never eaten but whose nectar drew multitudes of butterflies. 

So if the caterpillar represents the past and present pyramid, hierarchal, institutional structure of the church, and the butterfly the horizontal relational structure of the church, what might be going on inside that cocoon?  Lets look at the church as a caterpillar and then the transformed butterfly to get a picture of this drastic change:

__________   .   __________   


 Caterpillar to Butterfly

Believing & Behaving is important to Belonging to Belong begins a relationship producing BelievingBehaving

Church “membership” is stressed to church “networking” of relationships at various levels is stressed

Physical growth in numbers determines success to Networking relationships with the masses determines success 

Accountability comes through pyramid leadership to Accountability comes through strongly built horizontal relationships

Accountability comes through submission to leadership to Accountability comes through service to and from one another

Advancement comes through educational degrees to Advancement comes through respect through service

Positions are determined by offices to Positions are determined through service, what you do, not who you are

Develops & maintains clergy/laity identity to Develops & maintains priesthood of believers

Government is run by boards, committees, and hierarchal leadership to Government is run on relationships of give and take in a five fold format

Pyramidal leadership “over sees” church activities to Relational leadership “sees over” what the Holy Spirit is already doing.

Controls people to Releases people

Owns all church property to Has no need for church property

Power struggles through church politics to Solves struggles through restored relationships

Separation (from the world) to Integration (into the world)

Creates a culture to Influences a culture

Develops Pharisees to Develops Disciples

Loyalty lies in submission to the system to Loyalty lies in “laying down your life for your brethren”

Identity lies in who you are in the system to Identity lies in who you are in Jesus individually & corporately

__________   .   __________   .   ___________   .   __________   .   __________

These are just a few of the transformations that must take place to change from an lumbering, multifaceted system of hierarchies appearing to try to work together in purpose and identity only to oppose one another reducing speed and efficiency to a sleek, multitalented horizontally relational system serving one another increasing efficiency and speed for flight.  These show the challenges the Church must face while metamorphosising into a totally renewed transformation of becoming a free flying, beautiful butterfly.