Instead of training and releasing people to follow and obey the living Jesus, churches tend to make people spiritual paraplegics. Perhaps sitting passively in church isn’t the kind of exercise that builds spiritual muscle. When people are made spiritually dependent on a pastor, they tend to look to his leadership instead of the leading of the Spirit. Maybe Christians could grow more if pastors helped them not to be dependent on them.
Couldn’t a Sunday service be something other than silent spectators, sitting still & stuck in their seats for a studious sermon? Perhaps ministry could be shared mutually among all Christ-followers and not be a consumer product produced by religious hierarchy. Perhaps church could meet to let people hear and discern the will of God together; instead of sticking so tightly to a program.
If church won’t let people go beyond previously established patterns, new wineskins can’t emerge for Christ’s new wine! When we’re unwilling to follow Jesus beyond the familiar and the ordinary, we miss out on the excitement of prechurch Christianity!
Prechurch Christianity was a spiritual greenhouse growing people of mighty faith. (Before pews, programs, and pulpits, there was prechurch.) Prechurch ekklesia was all about individual Christ-followers being directly led by the Spirit. See Romans 8:14. It’s time for a spiritual uprising — Jesus’ living water flowing freely through ordinary people.
Growing in Christ isn’t an intellectual process. It’s a process of being actively involved with and actively led by the risen Jesus. We need a “one anothering” epidemic, a return to 1st century Christian support groups based on 1 Corinthians 14:26.
The early Christians were Christ-trekkies, following and obeying Jesus in their daily lives. If today’s church would embolden people to act like Jesus, the world would be transformed!
Nowadays people are looking to counselors, pastors, doctors, and other professionals for help, but ignoring the 50+ “one anothers” in the New Testament. The Bible says “encourage one another,” not “meet weekly to listen to the same man and let him encourage you.” Without the freedom for mutual, interactive ministry (one anothering) church becomes a lecture hall for passive spectators.
Most church services are so well planned & controlled that they can run perfectly well without any dependence on the living Jesus. However, Jesus is alive and present when Christians gather & He can lead a meeting better than any human can. Why not let Him?
Perhaps that is because it seems much easier for a pastor to take charge and run a church service, than to step back & let Jesus run it. Also, in the Bible Jesus was always surprising people. Maybe churches program and control their meetings so tightly that they wipe out all surprise is because they don’t like surprises.
Let go and let God be God in you