Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Forgotten Ways - part 2

“If you want to build a ship, don’t summon people to buy wood, prepare tools, distribute jobs, and organize the work, rather teach people the yearning for the wide, boundless ocean.”

This is really the way I have come to approach life in the communities to which I belong. I’ve never been big on telling people what to do. In fact I probably lean too far into the abstract and I imagine that might be a little frustrating for some who I coach.

I am a vision caster. I am not a prescriber. I hope all of my readers hear that well when I write. I never want to push my methods of church and life on anyone. Rather I want to cast a vision in their hearts of what a full life in Christ might look like for them and their community. I hope to do it in such a way that it becomes their hearts deepest desire to live that vision out. I have full faith in the Spirit of Jesus Christ to work out the methods and details.

However, I do think it is important to share with the church how Jesus has historically created the kind of amazing movements that I spoke about in part 1. I think it is important to study how the methods used during these movements created space for Jesus to lead His Church and to see how powerful a movement can become when the leader is Jesus and not any man, or group of people. (I am not arguing for anarchy, I will address this issue specifically in another post).

Alan Hirsch says that 95% of evangelical churches subscribe to the contemporary church growth strategies in spite of the fact that there are very few reports of success with these strategies. In the same way that we should pay attention to the methodology that does seem to work, shouldn’t we pay attention to that which clearly doesn’t work. I would like to contend that the reasons these church growth strategies don’t work is because they quench the Spirit. They are led by people who cannot let go of control, and so they setup a system that requires their presence to function.

Don’t believe me? Try this… imagine what would happen if your preacher and song leader slept in on Sunday morning. What would happen when the church gathered together? What would you do? I will leave it up to your imagination to what would happen, but this is what I mean by control. If the absence of one or two people would stop anything significant from happening, I think there is something seriously wrong with your methodology. I think that if this is the case, Jesus is probably not leading that church.

This may sound too harsh.

For the record, let me say that I believe the Lord works in and through all things, good or bad. I believe that the Lord has done amazing work in the lives of millions of individuals through the institutional church. I am in fact a product of that and I am very grateful for my faith heritage. Yet I believe there is a more faithful, holistic, and fruitful way to live in community as followers of Jesus. And it is to that end that I dedicate this blog, and for better or worse, my life.


Anonymous said...

So what happens if you and your wife aren't home for house church?

Jordan Bunch said...

Great question.

We rarely meet at the same location 2 or 3 weeks in a row. We move to different peoples homes. There are 16 of us. We all share leadership responsibilities. We either to a bring your own meal, or have several volunteers to bring different parts of the meal. Our gathering is like nothing I had ever been a part of before and I lead a small group ministry at a mega church for 4 years, but this is a very different kind of thing all together.

For more on what the gathering looks like check out one of my earlier blogs... http://jordanbunch.blogspot.com/2010/12/when-jesus-is-everything.html

This will help you get a better idea of how things still function regardless of who may be out of town or just can't make it.

If you have more clarifying questions after reading that please let me know. I'd be happy to answer.