If you’ve been reading this blog, or my other one, I have been dealing allot with finding myself within the church and trying to outwardly express everything that is happening inside my heart and soul. There is so much I could say, and so much that I am learning; and I truly believe God purposely puts people and resources in my path to help me better understand myself and my relationship with Him. If you take a look at my “Books I like” tab above and read the descriptions when you scroll over them, it’s a good indicator of what God has been doing with me this past year. Spiritual Growth is amazing and wonderful, but as relational beings, we are ment to share it with others and be understood and accepted as parts of the body of Christ. This has been my problem. After concerted efforts and sitting in Sunday Life Groups, there is still a great disconnect. When I try and explain my spiritual growth to others, they don’t get me, at least they don’t voice my enthusiasm. This is a big problem for me, one that I have been struggling to understand, praying about and surrendering to God. It’s been good to blog and share with people who get me; unfortunately, this is only 2 dimensional, but at this point I’ll take what I can get; (isn’t it sad that we have this line of thinking, when God has made us to be so much more). Anyway, in researching all of this, I came across a book called Re-imagining Church by Frank Viola. Now, I realize Frank is a leader in the “House Church Movement”, and I’m not ready to cash in my current church practices, but this book is making me re-think allot of what we do as a church. I was first hit with seeing the church as a “corporation” or “institution” at one of the last chapters of Ken Gire’s book “The Divine Embrace”, which is an amazing book about intimacy with God. This book, Re imagining Church, claims that their is no right way of doing church, but asks us to go back to the first century church and seriously take a look at how it was in Jesus’ time, then look how far away from that we’ve become in our present day. I also just got done reading “The Shack” which is fiction, but hits on a similar point that this book addresses, which is that God is a triune, relational God, and we are His relationally wired creation. He has perfect relationship as Father, Son and Spirit. It is that same relationship He wants us to experience as His Body. Chapter 5 of “reimagining church” really hit the pit of my soul. I found myself really upset and crying out to God on allot of stuff b/c it is what I have been trying to communicate to others at my church. As the family of God, we need to be there for each other, sharing our growth, caring for each other, and the members reflect the Triune God in Their Relationships. I understand churches try and have life groups or cell groups to full fill this purpose, but I’m here to tell you it’s not a one size fits all type of thing. You just can’t launch a campaign in hopes that your good intentions of community are gonna pay off, because again, for me, it aint working. I don’t mean to crab, but I know that if we are really honest with ourselves this is our deepest longing, becasue it is how God Wired Us! To truely be His Body, In Relationship With Him and Other Believers. The church as an institution has really gotten way far away from what the true body of Christ is ment to be and look like. Well, I think for the moement, I have made somewhat of my point. I am only half way through this book at the moment, but felt that I had to blog this becasue it was that upsetting to me. I’ve been repenting allot to God for our so called churches, because we are so far gone!! It really makes me angry, but now I have to take this anger and figure out a way to rechannel it to something purposeful for His Glory, and that will only come through more continued prayer and surrender. I love my church, and yes, I do feel that “corporate worship” is important for The Body Of Christ, but if we are not truely seeing lives changed and able to share in that metamorphis with eachother the way the New Testiment church did, what the heck are we doing??????????????? My hope and prayer is that those pastoring churches would seriously consider reading this book, just, if nothing else, to be reminded of what God had truely intended for His Bride, and how far gone we have gotten from that origional beautiful realationship that God desires us to not only be in with Him but with eachother here on earth. I would love to get your thoughts on this, especially if you’ve read the book too. Thanks.
P.S. To learn more and read some of the reviews, and excerpts, go to: http://www.reimaginingchurch.org/