Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part VIII
I personally have witnessed grass root revival through the Jesus and Charismatic Movements of the last century. I have witnessed the rise of CBN, Christian Broadcasting network, and the fall of the PTL empire under Jim & Tammy Faye Baker. None of these movements were birthed through the institutional church, who became its critics. In fact the organized church still does not fully embrace the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues. They stifled prayer and praise meetings held in believers homes claiming they needed “proper oversight” by pastors, elders, and church leaders, taking the control out of the hands of the laity. Today, “mega-churches” with enormous budgets and staff expect the Holy Spirit to bring revival into their exclusive facility among its members. It just doesn’t work that way! Revivals have always originated outside of institutional church structures.
Sixty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection Jerusalem would be destroyed, Israel would cease as a nation, the Levitical priesthood would be dissolved replaced by a rabbinical system. Revival meant “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [II Corinthians 5:17]” The Torah became known as The Old Testament, all things new in the Holy Spirit became The New Testament. Two thousand years later, Israel would be restored as a nation, but not their Temple or form of worship. What was once the new movement, the Church, now has become the organized religious institution as their believers flocked to enormous church buildings under a professional hierarchal structure of pastors. Will this repeated pattern again lead to its destruction, or will God chose to move within this already established framework to rework and recreate a new form or structure? Will the church embrace an urban renewal approach to revival where old buildings, old structures, have to be condemned and demolished before new structures can be reconstructed, or will it experience a metamorphosis, an internal restructuring done in the secrecy of a spiritual cocoon?
Although unprecedented in history, can revival, for a change, actually occur within the current structural framework of the church rather than outside it? In our next blog, we will examine the possibilities of a metamorphic change in the church.