“Not Your Grandma’s Church”
Have you noticed how many new progressively contemporary churches are popping up all over your community? If not then take a look around. They are there. They are in your shopping malls, schools, movie theatres, hotels, anyplace that has a room large enough to hold a gathering.
There you will probably find a Pastor and his congregation decked out in blue jeans and flip flops, as well as an untucked button down shirt, or Tommy Bahama knock off. The music will be loud and rocking. It will probably be led by some twenty something guy with spiked up hair and a go-tee, also adorned in the blue jean flip flop look. You will also no doubt find a table with coffee and snacks on it, as well as a dining area in the back for people to sit in coffee house fashion. Sound familiar?
Several years ago these rebels were on the cutting edge of church development. The traditional churches in the area were taking bets on how long they would last and the elders were offended at the very nature of their ministry. Church communities for the most part didn’t even recognize them as “real church”. They were “Blasphemers and Hypocrites”. Now the very church they looked so harshly on has brought Christianity back in America.
Don’t get me wrong. Not all of these little pocket churches got it right. Many fell to the wayside. Planting a church is just like planting seeds in a field. Not all the seeds sprout or make it to full maturity. Others produce in abundance above expectations. It depends on how they are watered and fed.
Don’t get me wrong about traditional churches either. There are some really good ones out there as well. But overall the traditional church as we know it is declining rapidly. So where do Christian churches go from here? What is next on the cutting edge? How do you keep the momentum going forward? By continuing to pursue the Acts 2 church.
The Fellowship of the Believers
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Thousands of years ago someone got it right. It was right there in the bible. They ate together, hung out together, shared their views and ministered to one another. They helped those in need. They prayed God’s blessings on one another and it says in verse 47, ” And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved”.
If Christianity is to survive in this Pagan world then Acts 2:42-47 needs to be the Mission Statement. Nothing more and nothing less. Every church, denominational or not, should adopt this phrase as the guideline in developing a true “Fellowship of Believers”.
Christianity can longer afford to be bogged down in the administrative and political garbage that takes place inside the walls of Pastor’s offices and late night board meetings. If all energy is focused on the things of God, the things of Man will diminish, or, God will take care of them. By loading up the leaders of our churches with the issues of man, we have lost the Faith that once existed to trust in God. It is when the traditional Christian churches finally realize this, then they too when enable themselves to grow as the Acts2 church. Let’s continue to pray for that revival.