Article by Topher Smith
Until now I felt the groaning of the Church for more but I didn’t know how to express it. My favorite phrase that I’ve adopted over the last couple years is that the Sunday Morning Service should not be the main event. This strikes at the heart of most church leaders and their current structure, and I do not intend to hurt. However, we can’t keep doing things the way that we have settled into doing them. It’s as if each movement or denomination starts strong with a bang as God births something new or different. Then slowly over the years it gets conformed to what we as humanity are comfortable with and overall church health declines. Like Michael Brodeur, I want the church to come back to the form of Ecclesia that Jesus intended. The priesthood of every believer and everything that this entails.
We have to recognize everyone’s uniqueness and gift mix. I was just talking about this with someone. I was sharing with him about how we all carry certain general callings that each saint is to do. The way that it plays out is uniquely different based on each individual and their own personal qualities. For example, the same set of verses can be used by two people that have the same theology, and the points that they make from the word can be uniquely different while still lining up with the main point of the passage. I celebrate this diversity! The way that one person reproduces and trains disciples can be different from the way that someone else does it – and that is okay. In fact it is healthy.
Part of my challenge was I had a wrong view of what would happen in end times for the church. I had a picture of things getting darker and darker and chalked up what I noticed as that thing happening. Instead of going from glory to glory I saw a necessary decline. This is not what is spelled out in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” After all, Jesus is returning for a beautiful, spotless, perfect bride with all her body parts intact, not a zombie bride! He is coming back for a bride that is “a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless”, Ephesians 5:27. This is His plan. The way that she gets into that kind of shape is every member of her body getting the attention that it needs, and permission to be unique from the other parts to gain full fruition as a whole. This allows each member of the body to be alive and functioning at maximum capacity to step into complete wholeness in total unity.
I also felt a stirring in the spirit in general over the body, but I didn’t realize that it was the revival that is just here or coming soon. Understanding the times makes a huge difference on how we do life, and what it looks like to do church. We MUST mobilize every member and launch people in ministries to solve the problems of the Church and the world. Launching is a big deal. Take NASA for example. There is a TON of work that goes into preparing for just one rocket launch. Months of planning and calculating are followed by building and preparing. After the launch of the rocket that took so much time and resources to prepare, what happens next? Does the team of NASA go on vacation, having put the rocket through the atmosphere? They all stay glued to their monitors and sensors, keep communication lines open, and make sure that the mission is a success. It’s no different with the church leaders that we raise up and the ministries that we launch.