Here's a repeat from a post dated Feb. 18-- just wanted to share it again:
Why Change Church?
Alan Creech seeks to answer the important question, "why we do church a different way." His response is this:
We have looked and we have seen the deep lack of real transformation going on in the Body of Christ. We aren't - we haven't been - being changed into the people we were created to be. And we have seen that the context of our Christian lives has had a good deal to do with this lack of transformation.
I agree with Alan and would add that, not only are we not seeing transformation, we are not seeing the full expression of what Christ's Body, family, community is meant to look like. The church is the expression of God's people. The church is the people. The church ought to be the expression of the full diversity of God's people and the community that they live in with each other. Instead, the church has often limited the expressions of God's people, and the nature of community.
In my own experience, I felt that God gave me the ability to run and the church offered me a track to run on-- around and around. It took me many years to discover that, no, I was meant to run cross country... off the circular track. The church had no capacity to facilitate this diversity. It has limited the diversity of God's people rather than served it.
The first century church was not a static "thing," rather, by defintion, it was a living, missional, people-movement. The church took it's shape from the people who were being moved by the Spirit, seeking to live in relationship with God, fulfill His purposes, and live in love-one-another community. God's diverse people, led by the Spirit (along with principles and truth), became the definition of what the church was. Structures accomodated the movement.
In contrast, today, we usually see structure define the church. In this context, there is no room for the full and rich diversity of the "movement of the Spirit through God's people." What a tragic loss to both God's people and the world God longs to touch. How sad it is to travel the globe and see the exact same church structures which now limit the movement (and the diverse expression of Christ through His people) rather than respond to it and support it.
So... my added response to Alan's comments about wanting to see God's people transformed is: Yes, and amen. And... I long to see God more fully expressed through His people so that, indeed, His glory will cover the earth.