Rethinking Church Order

With respect to our church and worship experience… What is often seen as a noble duty to promote church order, often in reality is quenching the Holy Spirit…

Rarely in our gatherings is adequate space given to the Holy Spirit to have His way. Quenching… or policing the Holy Spirit seems normal in some circles. Some actually prefer quenching the Holy Spirit to risking a lack of “order.” Not to mention churches that make no space at all for the Spirit of God, but have opted for an academic only Christian experience. I’m growing to understand… to the extent we are submitted to Him, that the Spirit of God IS order. We can trust Him.

As we offer a climate of freedom in church, will there be errors? You bet there will be…. However, if we mainly offer a climate that sees quenching the Spirit as the norm, will we see error in that? Most certainly, although it’s not as noticeable. Everything remains neat and tidy. It’s a comfortable error.

Where would you rather experience error…in a climate in which people are seeking to make space for the Holy Spirit to do what He will… or in one where people aren’t even open to that? One that is based on the expectation and openness that God will meet us here with His presence, or one the completely predetermines how our times together will go, without much regard for what God is doing?

I would rather be in a climate of freedom.

Years ago, Kim and I decided we would rather look at each other on the ride home from church as say… that was weird… than we would to drive home grieving over the valley of dry bones we had just walked through.

I suppose we have to step out of the boat, if we are going to walk on the water. It usually involves risk… What if we lose our collective dignity? This is a difficult one, especially if we have allowed our dignity to become an idol.

When we gather as believers… Our primary objective should be to host the presence of God… Not just promote a program designed to explain Him to everyone.

Our gatherings shouldn’t be about following our spiritual protocol, managing our religious form…or executing the weekly ritual… We are to be inviting the presence of God… And hosting Him. I’m talking about the difference between a focus on the mechanics of doing church… vs. life in Jesus. This isn’t about us, it’s about Him.

What does the kingdom of God look like? Does it look like the average church service? What does the Kingdom look like when it comes “here as it is in Heaven”? Is it like your average church service? Likely not.

What if God wants to show up in a way that’s different from our tradition? What if it takes us out of our comfort zone? Should we “…invalidate the word of God by the tradition which we have handed down…”? Mark 7:13 NASB. Should we focus more on preserving our church culture than we do on following after God?

What if the things we are striving so diligently to offer God in our normal patterns really isn’t what he wants from us?

We shouldn’t make piety an idol… We shouldn’t worship church. We don’t serve a religious form, style, or tradition. Our focus is the person of Jesus.

I want to purpose to get in on what He is doing… not persuade Him to bless what I have chosen to do. May it be so.

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