Where does the Church go from here?



Back in the late 1980s many Christians tried the "Mega-church" model where "everyone is welcome" and where "no one is judged". Where church was "fun". But eventually people began to see that it was empty. All sugar and no light. The atmosphere ranged from concert-club to jean-wearing post-hippie professor lectures.

So, where do we go from here? Why did people seek out a different church model in the first place? Is it because the monologue model of a pastor standing up giving a sermon for 1-2 hours wasn't really feeding the people? Was it because the social-welfare model of telling us the Church's main purpose is to "lovvvvve poor people" left us feeling like we were at a Democrat Party rally?

What about some of the other models? The ceremonial, scripted model where we have the sermons laid out for us a year in advanced. The bulletin tells us when to say "amen" and when to sit or stand. Or how about the model where we politely shake hands with the CEO... I mean pastor and the board members... I mean deacons take up an "offering" of the shareholders...I mean congregation so as to pay off the "building fund" for the next 30 years.
We hunger for something real. We hunger to be fed. Not by men who seem to be too good or too "expert" to work a day job as the apostle Paul did.

However, if you have ever gone to a "Meetup" group of Christians, there we have every wacko who claims that God is speaking directly to and through him or her, no matter how much it contradicts what the Bible actually says. That is no community of Saints; that is a Thomas Muntzer dream.

I'm not here to tell you what should happen next, but to ask you to pray that God moves among His Church. We don't want Frank Viola's religious anarchy nor do we want Rob Bell's social movement disguised as Christianity.

The Bible doesn't have a million interpretations of the same text. We want to get to the basics. We want our faith to be obvious and seamlessly interwoven into our daily lives. We don't want to feel like we have to "belong" or "get plugged into" or "sign a membership card". We also don't want to be vagabonds, quietly practicing our faith in the shadows. There MUST be a way to live out our Christian faith that while understanding the usefulness of denominational distinctions, we can transcend them enough to see Christ in Christians when Christ is there.