Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!

Why the church doesn't work. And, what needs to be done.

The future... It seems to me a scary place these days. I don't know what the future holds for our children and our grand children. I do know WHO holds the future and who can give the help that may be needed from looming dangers.
At one time the church had enormous influence in our society. Our Judeo-Christian values were accepted by most as the foundation of a 'good life' and a 'good society.' And, that is changing. Our nation is polarizing.

Somewhere we have read: A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Do you hear this division in the news, in the forums and in every day conversation? We disagree - strongly disagree on what is right and good. We disagree on what is good for our country. During the tenure of a former president, the news openly debated rather a leader had to have a good ethical/moral constitution to be a good leader. I wouldn't even have had the conversation: leading and being ethical and moral are joined at the hip according to my view of the world and what it takes to do things properly.

We are becoming a divided country. We are at risk: as individuals, as a society.

The church is God's solution to the problems that plague the human race. It is through the church that God intends to pour our his wisdom. It is through our relationship with him that we have grace and strenght to live upright, godly and productive lives. And, it is though our relationship with him that we have peace. Come what may - we know who holds our future and who will enable us to overcome.

Yet, there seems to be a problem with the health of many churches. There are solutions - the most radical of which is probably the most obvious to those on the 'outside', but mysterious to us.... We must Unite with Him and with each other. Ministries and churches need to share their strengths with each other. To do this, we need to make ministry visible and commit to exchange resources. This has started in many places - it needs to multiply and increase. Lets see the body knit together and strengthened!

I have attached a story board...
This story board outlines our problem and the resulting ineffectiveness it causes. It also calls forth a special type of leader - one who will initiate and lead change across a region, city or community. Perhaps you are one of those leaders. Or perhaps you will support in prayer and service those called to this type of leadership.

I pray that in every way you will engage in this great work.
Jesus will come back for a bride that is united, healthy, fruitful and holy.

Please leave me your feedback on the story board.

I covet your prayers for those who are putting their hands to this great work.


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Comment by Dave Knauss on June 29, 2009 at 9:17am
Dear Trooper, Lisa, and Paige,
While reading your replies, I was thinking how super it'd be to find a group of people that combined your three observations (DIFFERENT denominations WORKING together...). I believe we'd have a dynamo to contend with, or like the old Esso commercials, "Grab the tiger by the tail and hang on." I too know that each denomination has its own fingerprint of Truth. I think of Truth as a 360 degree circle and we are standing in the center of it looking only at a small arc of it. We have to be willing to turn the opposite direction out of our comfort zone to see the Truth behind us. Woe to the church or denomination that thinks it possesses within itself an understanding of the entire 360 degrees of Truth. We need to REVERSE church schisms.
Blessings, Dave
Comment by Juanita on June 27, 2009 at 3:09pm
Lisa, I think you are on to something. Working together doesn't mean uniformity!!! Friends of mine who were on the mission field said that all the churches worked together. They knew what the goal was... To advance the Kingdom. They knew who the enemy was... And, it wasn't the church next door. And, they knew that divided they fell, united they stood. I think that is a lesson that we are now learning in the US.
Comment by Lisa on June 27, 2009 at 9:47am
Taking a step back and refering to the comment about the church becoming like a cookie cutter or a Wal-mart in every city. That of course would be a flawed picture. It's amazing how often I can't find what I want in Wal-mart for the price I like. Problem is they out compete everybody because they are often cheaper and have most of what most people want, becoming the only place to go. Have the church as a whole become like this would be disastrous. Each denomination has a purpose and may be placed in an indivuals life for a time to fulfill that purpose. The indipendent (baptist like), baptist, and independent charismatic churches I attended have all played a role in my life and christian growth. Truth is that the places I visit only once or twice often speak the word I need to hear at the time that I need to hear it. I think It is not a matter of having a unified church where everyone looks like everyone else. Rather it is a matter of each of the very different denominations working together, making room for differences, and ministering to the unique needs of their congregations while making themselves available to the greater community (churched, and unchurched) around them.
Comment by Juanita on May 6, 2009 at 12:23pm
I think you have a great point - if we organize without taking these key functions into consideration, we will miss the key things that need to happen!
Comment by Juanita on May 6, 2009 at 10:37am
I think there is a lack of understanding on 'structure'. Structure is like our bones. Without our bones, we'd be a blob. Structure answers the questions...
Where... do we gather
When... do we gather
Who... does what
How... do we receive training, instruction and communion, etc.
How often... do we meet once or regularly
Without answering these questions, we can't even plan how to get together to share a meal.
The answers to these questions are how we organize. As we answer these questions, organzations emerge. To think that we don't need to organize would be similar to thinking our bodies could function without bones.

The problem becomes two fold...
Poor organization. This happened in Acts: some widows were overlooked when food was distributed. How did they solve the problem? They assigned who was to do what and made sure the 'when' was always on time.
'Worshipping the rod that budded'. When something works, we tend to 'cannonize it', make it holy. For instance, in Acts - they appointed deacons to oversee the food distribution and other ministries. Now what does the word 'deacons' mean? Those who serve. However, we've got to go religious and each church needs deacons. Beyon that, they were a tribal society. Their communities were led by older men. So, naturally, the churches were lead by older men-we call these Elders. And, volia! Every church needs deacons or elders OR if we are really spiritual, we need both. Dah! There isn't a 'cannonized' way to organize. I believe we have complete liberty to do even as the Salvation Army did - they organized with terms befitting a military. Or we can organize using functional structures: Minister of Education, Minister of Worship, Minister of the Word, Minister of Benevolence. There isn't a 'doctrine of organizational structures' in the New Testament! We need to mature in our thinking.

Last on structure...
There is the sense that if we plan and do it, God isn't 'in it.' But, if our plans break down and it just happens, then God 'showed up.' It the service goes differently than planned, then God showed up - YEAH! I don't mean to step on toes, but this can be downright childish thinking. Who LIVES in US? Who GUIDES US? Who EMPOWERS US? Christ lives in us, God guides us, the Holy Spirit empowers us. God's plan has always been to do his work throught these weak and imperfect vessels - you and I. We don't need to wait for him to 'show up.' We need to learn how to work with him moving in and through us. He's with us where ever 2 or 3 gather in His name. Yup, we can depend on that. Rather things are according to plan or not, we can trust God to work through His people. Why? Because that is his plan, what he has told us he would do.
Comment by Juanita on May 5, 2009 at 10:48pm
As of today, we have had over 240 views from our friends on Twitter. Plus some nice comments, too.
Thank you!
Comment by Angeljoymom (Judy) on April 30, 2009 at 6:26am
From "The Solution" on Storyboard pg. 2 ~
"Our current state is a divided body that declares individual congregations as the ‘core unit’ of the body of Christ. A core unit has everything it needs to function. Clearly most congregations do not.
But, at the community level, these equippers are commonly found. The core unit is the church of the community: The Church of Ephesus, The Church of Corinth, The Church of Philadelphia. We need to repent of our divisions and unite."

I wonder if we are missing the boat?
By what the Spirit spoke to those City churches in Revelation, I wonder if they were known for their function as opposed to their location...or even if their function was related to their location.

In light of those functional differences, if we remain as these "core units" and seek to repent for our division and unite, might this encourage cookie-cutter churches (i.e., each one doing the same thing just in a different location)?
Is that really unity?
I picture a Wal-mart in every city, serving the needs of every city and ask, What kind of unity is that?

David Wilkerson stated recently in his sermon "When God Comes Down" that the Church needs to mend it's ways (saints one with another) so they can wait on God in one accord to send nationwide Holy Spirit fire, like in the upper room.

I posit that the Church needs to mend it's ways corporately as well.
What if we make an effort like Paul did in Corinth? Granted, his outreach was to make disciples. But isn't part of our outreach/next step to make the Bride ready?
1 Corinthians 9:18-23
18What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Just as Paul became as a Jew unto the Jews to gain them for Christ's sake, can we lay our liberties aside publicly (like a married couple would leave signs of affection at home) and become whatever we need to be (within the limits of Christianity, of course) so that we might promote true unity?

Another thing David Wilkerson mentioned about the disciples waiting on God in the Upper Room:  there was no prophet to tell them what was about to happen. No one led. It was all God's doing. They knew they needed to be in one accord before the Holy Spirit could come down. Were they all as one the entire time or might they needed to work through personality differences or other such human issues? (Remember how the disciples were concerned about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom? And how Peter was concerned with the difference of how he and John would die? There was competition and envy at heart.)

I wonder...did God have to wait for them to become in one accord? Is He likewise waiting for us (the Body)?
Comment by Angeljoymom (Judy) on April 27, 2009 at 6:21pm
Not only was the Constitution founded upon biblical principles, but there was revival (The Great Awakening) going on when it was established.
When we consider what is wrong with our nation and would need to be done to get it back, we need to consider that the majority of the population was Christian AND major revival was spreading like wildfire. Our Fore Fathers were undeniably Christian and their intent goal was this:

People ---> GOD <--- Government

Consider this quote from James Madison (the father of the Bill of Rights):
"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self- government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
— James Madison

Now check out what Alexander Hamilton wrote about the Bill of Rights before they were voted upon:
"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?"

The Bill of Rights were something the people wanted, fearing the government would become too powerful and no longer represent them fairly. God gave man free will...whether that man walks with or without Him. According to James Madison, they risked the future, hoping that man would continue to govern themselves after the 10 Commandments...something which was honored (for the most part) until the 1960-70's.

In other words, the rights that we (as Christians) exercise and have not exploited protect everyone, giving those who choose not to follow Christ the freedom to do so. I think this is why no one stood up and why Sarah Palin was not against gay marriage. Regardless of what we feel about it, restricting an unbeliever's freedom is both unconstitutional and unbiblical.
Comment by SueW on April 27, 2009 at 4:32pm
Guys, "separation between church and state" ONLY and I mean ONLY means that there will be NO "state church". It does NOT mean there will be no churches or religion. And it does NOT mean that churches or religion cannot have a part in the government or influence the law making. NOT AT ALL. And FYI, the state constitutions HAVE NO clause against having a state church.

The first thing we need, is to know what the Constitution REALLY says and what it DOESN'T say. This country was started on Christian principles and the MAJORITY of Americans ARE Christian and in a Republic like this, majority rules. i.e. the immoral people in the administration NOW needed the Christian vote to win and sadly, they GOT a good portion of it.

Which leads to my second point: Christians need to learn to vote in a block and vote MORALITY. If they support abortion, DON'T vote for them regardless of WHAT promises they make to you about how rich you will be.

And that leads to my third point. Christians have lacked the courage to stand up for what they believe. The minute, the very minute, we STOP electing anti God, pro abortion politicians, I GUARANTEE YOU that Politicians will get to be pro life and pro religion. IT's very simple. And the reason the small minority of atheists have walked all over us, managed to remove God from OUR Schools (but teach abortion, fornication outside of marriage, gay marriage and paganism) is simply because WE HAVE ALLOWED IT.

For instance. If ALL Christian parents removed their children from public school and refused to pay the school tax, don't you think some changes would happen?

All this requires COURAGE, a quality which many Christians need to DEVELOP.

Think about this. The first plane hit the WTC as a result of 2 guys with plastic knives making it happen. There were about 50 people on that plane. What if someone or maybe 10 someone(s) had been courageous enough to stand up and overcome these 2 guys? 5000 people WOULD NOT HAVE DIED. In fact, that's exactly what happened with the plane destined for the White House. The terrorists were overcome by 4 brave guys.

And finally, we all need to pray. A LOT. And get our OWN lives in order. Make SURE God IS the God of our lives and money or the myriad of other "stuff" which takes up our time.
Comment by Angeljoymom (Judy) on April 27, 2009 at 3:13pm
I don't think it's by accident that I was brought to this page.
Here is a link to an apologetics forum on the subject of the Holy Spirit's Gifts for Today, which may benefit the project. If you can't link to it, let me know.

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