Wednesday, June 5, 2013

PERTINENT QUESTIONS WE SHOULD BE ASKING

 

"The Lord started his church the way he wanted it -

and now wants his church the way he started it!"

Yes, this is the quote I included in my last Letter, "When less is More". In this letter I want to challenge you (and me) as to how we can be more proactive in our response to the following questions:
    Since the quote echoes God's purpose and passion, shouldn't our purpose and passion be in line with God's?
    Is it enough to remain passive, apathetic and to stand idly by when the Western Church is light years away from the spirit and power of the Church that he started?

    What can we do, in relation to Christ's Church, to see God's will being done on earth as it is in heaven?
In answer to this last question, "what can we do...," my first suggestion is that instead of ignoring things in our church life that disturb us, we should ask the sort of questions listed below. They have been asked by people I know who have successfully transferred to a more meaningful, Biblical church environment. And, they have not rested until they have received satisfactory answers! These sorts of questions need to be asked whether we are in a traditional church, or a simple/house/organic church. Here's a sample:
 
Why do we insist on monological sermons, the most ineffective, inefficient  form of teaching. Jeremy Thomson says in his book, "Preaching as Dialogue: is the Sermon a Sacred Cow?". "The Greek word often used to describe first-century preaching and teaching is 'dialegomai'. This word means a two-way form of communication." Compare our English word dialogue. What can we do to replace the sermon tradition that is simply spoon-feeding Christians who are too lazy to dig their own wells? And can't we replace boring, irrelevent sermons with lively, helpful and challenging discussion? (More info in Frank Viola's and George Barna's shocking book, "Pagan Christianity?", chapter 4, 'The Sermon', pages 85-104).

       What can we do to pursue the 50+ "one-another" commands of the        New Testament?
   
       Where does church money go and why is it spent the way it is?
       What can we do to make sure our church activities are meaningful and
       Biblical and not sacred-cow-traditions that we are not willing to kill and
       bury?

       How can we make sure that more people participate in our church  
       gatherings? Aren't we ALL meant to be members (not spectators) of the 
       body of Christ? cf Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 14:26?
    What can we do to demolish the clergy/laity deception (doctrine of the Nicolaitans, Rev. 2:6, 15) and its twin brother hierarchical leadership?
    Why don't we actively devote more time to practicing true 'koinonia' (deep, honest, transparent sharing, knowing and being known) fellowship?

I've deliberately focused on questions we need to ask. Obviously not all questions fit all situations. We need to be led by the Holy Spirit to ask the right questions at the right time to the right person(s) and to do so with sensitivity and humility.

I'd love you to add to my list - obviously asking questions isn't the only thing we should be doing. How about sending me your 'take' on some of the many other things we should be doing to facilitate the growth and maturity of Christ's church? Thanks, I do appreciate your feedback.

The two web sites that I recommend today are both Australian-based, compiled by two very special friends and colleagues. These sites are chock full of helpful resources many of which are 'required reading' for devoted Christ-followers. www.oikos.org.au (follow the links to the OIKOS Blog) and Craig Kirkby's www.yourkingdomcomeyes.com

Jack

 

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