One day I was praying and thinking about a lot of things and asking God questions. I think He gave me a little insight and I debated on sharing it here as I am running the risk of others thinking completely different. I think though I will share part of what I had been pondering. These are my thoughts and my opinions and what I believe God spoke to me about.
Below is some of what I wrote:
"What God revealed to me was that maybe the Church has gotten everything backwards. We have been told by God that we were to do things differently, but what has happened is that though we started out with good intentions, we have only ended up as just the same church doing churchy stuff.
A lot of us are frustrated in our church as we can see and feel the “religious spirit” (just like the Pharisees) creeping back in and it seems our churches are stagnant. Why is nothing moving? What is this feeling of, “ hey something is not right, but what is it? What are we supposed to be doing that is different than any other church? We look like other churches. We meet on Sundays and have our little groups but where is the outreach as a whole?
Where are we impacting the world? The community? We are no different than the churches from the past. We have spent our money on ourselves, to give us a place to meet, to give our children a place to play and our youth a place to hang out. But what have we done to reach the individual that needs to know the Father?
Yes, we have given to missions and yes, individuals have done things for others but really what impact are we making? We can’t even get people to work within the church. no one wants to commit. Nobody is even calling others when they see a gift in them. We preach about old wine skins and new wine skins, we talk about rebuilding the walls and being repairers of broken people but we are all talk and no action and it is frustrating.
What kingdom principles are we facilitating?.....
This has bothered me for some time but I haven’t been able to see what it is that has bothered me. I didn’t know what it was. I love the body of Christ and know God wants us involved with them but I was sensing we were not right. Something was amiss. Some churches have come into the 21st century and opened up coffee houses in their churches, but even then I have found that they mostly service the Christians who are already part of their group. Even our church wants to open one.
Wouldn't it be radical to put on the billboard outside of our coffee house once it is opened up,
“WE HAVE STOPPED HAVING SUNDAY SERVICES FOR OURSELVES BUT WE ARE OFFERING YOU FRIENDSHIP AND A LATTE’ ANYTIME”.
I’m sure it wouldn’t sit well with some people. I would love to see churches, including ours as a place where the community won’t see it as a religious place but a “third place” .
There has been research done that shows that the human race has places in their lives that are where they live. It is places where they go almost every day to connect to others.
It is the places where they form relationships and they see these places as their ”home”. These places define their lives. Usually, FIRST PLACE is their home and family, SECOND is their work and THIRD used to be the church, but in today’s society, the church has drifted out of that place and other places like coffee shops and bars have taken its place.
Why? Because the church forgot about relationships with individual people. Why do you think the show “Friends” became so popular? Why was “Cheers” so popular? Because everybody craved those kinds of friendships. Everybody really wants to be where somebody knows their name. They want a place they can go to meet their friends, chill out and be transparent. They want friends who stick by you no matter what. The church used to be that place but somewhere along the road it stopped being the place people longed to go . Even church goers quit because they felt lonely. I myself have felt so alone in the church, even considering quitting myself.
So finally the light shown on my frustration. So why did God show me?
Intercession, My friend said. "Ok, I can do that." But then she said something I hadn’t thought of before. Sometimes, Intercession is not only prayer. Sometimes it is interceding with your actions. Wow! I have never thought of that before. I have only heard of it as prayer. She told me to pray about it. Intercede in action only when you have heard God tell you to. ....... What would God have me do to be a catalyst??
I found this all interesting and have continued pondering it.