MemberPartners — we hope you received your special link to meet with us on Monday, January 30, at 8:00 Eastern (7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain and 5:00 Pacific). This event is exclusively for MemberPartners only. However, if you have any interest in becoming a MemberPartner, please email us at email@example.com and we will provide a one-time access link.
People get ready, there’s a train a-comin’
Pickin’ up passengers coast to coast.
– Curtis Mayfield
Jesus has a plan to change the world. On the surface it looks rather ludicrous, but in reality it’s working. Here’s the plan: Come to earth as a human, recruit twelve regular guys and walk with them for three years, then leave, and turn everything over to them. It’s brilliant in its simplicity; insane in its expectations that these people would be able to pull this off. They certainly wouldn’t have, had He not left His Holy Spirit with them to indwell and empower them for the job. And thus He called them a church built on a rock that would challenge the very gates of hell.
That gospel train has been picking up passengers ever since.
In terms of the prevailing religious establishments, this church was radical, countercultural, non-institutional, organic, low-flying and revolutionary. His church was never to have a high profile. It would grow out, not up. It would always be other-worldly. It was never to attach itself to human governments or predictable power sources. It would never be associated with power over people, but it would manifest power under people to lift them up. It’s strategy in the prevailing culture: infiltration; and its single most identifiable quality: love.
Because of the radical nature of His plan and His church, it would tend to go in the wrong direction toward high profile, power-over institutions and strongman tactics, periodically necessitating a revolutionary departure from the natural in order to recover the supernatural again. For that reason, every “reformation” comes as a surprise to the institutionalized church and faces great opposition — that’s the pattern of history as found in the Reformation or the Great Awakening or the Jesus Movement. Should this be the time for a new awakening among Millennials as they face a new frontier, we are ready. The new frontier is wherever relationships form across age barriers.
We must be about recovering the original purpose of the church, being careful not to hold back the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is the key to the whole operation, anything found to be replacing a reliance on the Holy Spirit must be jettisoned from the train.
The limitations of virtual reality have actually worked in the church’s favor in that many of the trappings of church which always threaten to hold back the Spirit no longer apply, and we have been free to reestablish prayer, fellowship, the apostles’ teaching and the Lord’s supper as the essence of church (Acts 2:42). And Jesus never meant for church to be a sanctuary from the world (or for it to ever meet in one!) He always sends us out. The old established tradition of trying to get people to come into the church does not apply to the internet anyway. There is no “in” to our church; we are already “out.”
So this is our ongoing recovery of the original purpose of the church, to be the body of Christ — the hands and feet of Jesus — infiltrating all sectors of society with love, and sharing the gospel message, picking up passengers until Christ returns. Not the church as it often is, but the church as it originally was. The church as it can be. And yes, the church as it must be again. So be it.