Yet in the back of my head, I hear the question:
Is it possible for a church to be healthy if it is large?
My study of ecclesiology (the nature and theology of church) shows me that most of our current forms are missing something vital: God’s in-breathing.
If the church is Christ’s body, then our life needs to come from Him. Instead, in most churches, we worship Jesus and live for Him like He is a pattern, and we are the dressmakers.
Jesus is supposed to be our life-blood. Our strength is supposed to come from Him – but every time we start adding structure so that our organizations can grow we seem to lose our focus – we forget He is our source – of ideas, vision, energy, focus, hope.
One of the signs of this distortion is that we don’t look to see what people God has given us (with their strengths, etc) and find our structure from that – instead, we decide our structure and recruit accordingly.
We forget that Jesus is the Source and start using structure to fulfill our deficiencies – which looks like power.
So when I read about Millennials in Adulthood, I began to wonder how their social differences are actually helping form the church of the future. I believe that God shapes the church despite our best efforts to control it. We get comfortable in our dysfunction, and only change when we are forced to.
This new generation of youth have more casual friendships, and fewer close friendships. They seem to have a more realistic view of life on planet earth – they see political parties as all mostly the same, they seem to understand that nobody is perfect (as opposed to those of us who were striving for perfection for so many years). What will a God-breathed church look like in this group of people?
I don’t have an answer – I just thought I’d share my questions. I’m still hoping that we will find a way to do big church without power plays and false religion. Hoping.
For more information on this topic, I challenge you to take a few minutes to reach Frank Viola’s new ebook. Yes, it is a sales piece for his program, but it also has amazing challenges for us all.