Options: Traditions or Change
I haven’t written a blog entry in almost a half a year, but I am back. I have been working on editing manuscripts, including over 500 blog entries into book form (over 800 pages worth!), and I have reread every blog entry that I have written. I truly thank the Lord for some amazing insights.
I have realized that if a church truly wants revival it will have to be willing to embrace drastic change, and historically the institutional church has only embraced gradual change. Traditions have ruled the day. There is a sense of safety in doing things the traditional way, for traditions don’t make waves. They don’t flow; they are established.
If what I am sensing is truth, that the church is entering a cocoon stage in its development, drastic change will be a requirement. The necessity of changing the church’s very structure is at the core of this metamorphosis. The caterpillar structure of the current church with is squishy body, its multi-legged segments, and its ravishing eating habits to sustain constant growth will have to yield to a hard shelled, three segmented structure with wings whose purpose is to soar into the heavens. These are two totally different structures; same creature, but new look and purpose!
The churches who are willing to face this metamorphic state will find themselves surrounded by conflicts that demands change. Every program they have will be challenged; every thing they have done will be questioned by the standard of “relationships”. How does this standard or program enhance the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and their relationship to mankind, us? Can I trust the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ? How does this standard or program enhance the relationship between man with his brother in this priesthood of believers that is known as the Church, us? Am I truly my brothers’ keeper; if so, am I willing to “lay down my life for the brethren”? Can I trust my brother or sister in Jesus Christ? Those are the basic, challenging questions that will be asked.
Under the old caterpillar mentality of doing church, the Church cannot fly. It’s multi-legged, multi-bodied structure of splintered, divided factions, and its ravish appetite for constant church growth have often hindered its vertical relationship with the Godhead. It has not been able to bring an united, corporate atmosphere of worship or fulfilled John 17’s vision of church unity with the Godhead. Every segment feels it has the inside scoop with the Father through their church doctrine and beliefs, and the other segments of the body don’t, thus bringing division.
Under the butterfly mentality, the Church will be “equipped” to fly because it will “equip” the “saints”, the priesthood of believers, for the works of service. Everything that they do will be seen as an act of worship to the Godhead. Everything that they do will be an act of service to each other; all at the price of being willing to lay down their lives for their God and their fellow brothers and sisters, exactly what Jesus did on the Cross! The Cross is still the central component of the message of the gospel.
Every church revival that I have studied about or have personally experienced has been a messy affair as man has been challenged with new ways of doing things, new mindsets, a new awareness for the need of worship, a new burden to truly be one’s brother’s keeper, and a hunger for healthy relationships with the Godhead and the body of Christ, the priesthood of believers, that only comes through brokenness, repentance, and healing through Jesus Christ. Churches who don’t want the mess or the challenges will safely continue to crawl into its security and safety that tradition and being an institution can give. We are faced with only two options: tradition or change!