Religion is a breeding ground for death as it seeks to monitor, control, and keep everything within the confines of predictability. This can, in no way shape or form, reflect the living power of a Jesus who is at work to raise people out of death, out of oppressive forces, out of darkness, out of slumber, into the light of His life, glory, and radical purposes to change a world. In three and a half years Jesus initiated a movement that today continues to infuse the world with His living, powerful Spirit through over 1 billion followers! He is alive and on the move.
Even in the natural, decentralized movements are recognized as having the greatest potential for change in our world:
“In a world of rapid and unpredictable change, the leading social entrepreneurs and the millions of changemakers with their tentacles and sensors touching every corner of the globe represent a far better mechanism to respond to needs than we have ever had before—a decentralized and emergent force that, if properly financed, governed and wired together, remains our best hope to construct a framework of solutions that can keep pace with our problems and create a more peaceful world.” David Bornstein
The church, the expression of Jesus, is always meant to be a decentralized, emerging movement led by the Spirit of God. “Decentralized” because no one can control it, no religion can contain it, and no organization can claim it. “Movement” because it is an unleashed force that is designed, by its nature, to cover the earth like waters cover the sea. “Emerging”*** because it continually brings forth new life in new places and, as it does, emerges in the most unlikely situations and ways.
Our traditional religious approaches to church and Christianity can never serve the movement that Jesus initiated and that is being renewed today. But Jesus followers—loving Him, surrendering to Him, seeking Him, following Him radically into the world—can and will.
***Note: Please don't make any association between my use of the word "emerging" and the loosely defined "emerging movement."