I think the American church is going to see a shift in the way we meet and worship. I think it will begin to more closely resemble the first century churches, with people opening their homes and gathering like families. I think it will look a lot less like a business and a lot more like love. And I believe that the intimacy and camaraderie that is prevalent and able to be nurtured in such a setting is desperately needed amongst believers.
In the past 10 years there has been a mass exodus from what we refer to as church. Ministers and Members alike. People are not finding the encouragement and authenticity their souls hunger for. Many that have left are genuinely searching for His Church. Some condemn them, as they see them as “church shopping” attending different congregations trying to find a home only to come up empty.
And yes, there are those out there who are looking for a church that will serve and entertain them. And often this group will find a building with people willing to meet their ‘wants’. But I am not referencing them.
I’m referring to the group of believers who are faithfully seeking the Church they see in Scripture. Believers who have tried time and time again to be a part of a body only to be disheartened by church politics, man-made traditions, and the social club atmosphere they continue to run into. These are not “church shoppers”, they are people walking into buildings and not seeing His Church.
Often, as a result, they walk away and become part of the mass exodus that for some reason confounds so many of our leaders and church growth committees.
Over the past year and a half we have met with many who fall into this category. Believers struggling to find a home. Struggling to find the Church, Christ loved so much that He willingly gave His life on the cross to save. We have heard their stories as they have shared their hearts. We are grateful for their desire and willingness to open up and bless our lives with their beauty and transparency.
So, perhaps this “mass exodus” we continue to hear about and church business committees stress over, is not just a bunch of people who woke up one day and decided they were no longer Christians. Maybe it’s a bunch of Christians who woke up and realized they are.Jill Jones
We want the Fire of the Spirit. K i n e t i c Christianity!!! We don’t want to go through the motions of doing the ‘church thing’. We want to be HIS CHURCH! This is where we see growth. This is where disciples are made. This is where we find that connection and unity we seek. And this is why we open up our home and meet every week with people from all walks of life, sharing different struggles and stories, and worship as ONE body. Our house is not the church. But His Church meets here.
(This is not an attack on the traditional church setting or large churches. There are many blessings that can come to and from those bodies. This is an effort to expose the need to reach those among us who have become marginalized, because they no longer share the same pew or show up in our bulletins. This is a charge to those of you have felt called, pulled, or pushed, to lean into the Spirit. Maybe You are being called to missions. Maybe you feel the pull to invest more in the work of your current congregation. Or maybe, like us, you are being pushed into the unknown. Forced to face the fear of failure and inadequacy and surrender it all to God; so that His will may prevail, and His name may be glorified, in-spite of our shortcomings.)