UPDATED: August 2018
From 2012 to 2018, it’s been extremely difficult for God’s people to locate a genuine expression of church that is marked by face-to-face community and the centrality, supremacy, and headship of Jesus Christ.
The reason has to do with the seasonal nature of the restoration of God’s house.
Two main reasons:
Reason 1: While the idea of Christ-centered community is appealing to many, the cost for securing such community is obscenely high. So much so that the masses of 20s, 30s, and 40s prefer to be found in four other places that are far more convenient:
* Neo-Reformed churches.
* Mega churches.
* Liturgical “high church” assemblies.
* No church of any kind. These represent the “Dones” who have washed their hands of any regular gatherings or community-life. It’s lonelier, but far safer.
Reason 2: The word “organic church” has been hijacked to mean 1,001 different things, all of which are radically different. For that reason, I stopped using the term altogether. It’s devolved into a clay word that’s been molded like silly putty into sheer meaninglessness. The fact that the term no longer has a monolithic meaning has added to the disinterest.
The majority of those who are interested in the organic expression of the church right now (whatever they think the term means) are people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s.
And most of them are having a horrible time finding others who are interested in meeting outside institutional lines who live in the same state, let alone the same city.
In addition, when they do contact a group that purports to be “organic,” it’s almost always a small-is-beautiful version of the institutional church. And some of them are highly-legalistic, highly-toxic groups.
Among those interested in organic church who are 50 years old and up, bickering over doctrines and practices — with a good mix of serious personality conflicts sprinkled in — is common. So much so that many who are new to the idea of “organic church” have turned off to the idea by the doctrinal beat downs, personal vilification, mud-slinging, and theological smackdowns among its advocates.
A New Season
Historically, God has worked in seasons. This is true for revivals. Most revivals in history lasted less than five years. It also applies to spiritual awakenings concerning the ekklesia.
As I write this, we’re in a season where the waves of a Spirit-generated revival are non-existent in North America. There’s also no significant awakening regarding the restoration of God’s house.
The good news is that I’m hopeful and expectant that we’ll again see the day when the Spirit of God will move on His people to restore the ekklesia as He intended according to His eternal purpose.
And when that happens, I plan to be on the front-lines once again.
In fact, that day may be just around the corner. However, it’s going to require a few things for it to flourish and to be in line with God’s will.
I write about this very thing recently in an article called The Danger in Church Restoration – 10 Years After “Pagan Christianity” and “Reimagining Church.”
I encourage you to click the link and read that article right now.