the weblog of Alan Knox

The WD40 Church?

Posted by on Mar 13, 2012 in blog links | 6 comments

The WD40 Church?

Everyone knows that if something is moving when it should not move, you use duct tape. And, if something does not move but it should, you use WD40.

A post by Ross at “Viral Jesus” called “Sand In the Gears” reminded me of this universal fact. In his post, Ross suggests that the way we meet together as the church, the way we view leadership among the church, the way we serve one another and others, etc. should be “frictionless.”

What does he mean by “frictionless”? He explains:

I was watching a Ted Talk the other day and was struck by Jennifer Pahlka’s use of the word “frictionless.” I thought, that’s it, we need an ecclesiology that is frictionless; one that doesn’t get in the way of Jesus’ agenda, which is the spread of His Kingdom. The way the church functioned and the way they did ministry in the New Testament was frictionless; it did not interfere with Jesus’ agenda, it was built exactly for that purpose. The old saying form follows function holds true in ecclesiology as well as building automobiles.

(There is much more to his post, so I would recommend that you read it.)

This is a good point. When we gather together, when we serve, as we lead one another, there will be a form or structure or organization to what we do. The question that we must ask ourselves is this: Is our form, structure, or organization fixed and rigid, or is it flexible (changeable) enough to allow Jesus to work as he chooses to build his church and expand his kingdom?

The problems are not with form, structure, or organization per se. The problems come about when form, structure, organization, etc. dictate how believers gather, serve, lead, etc. Form, structure, and organization can become rigid and thus a hindrance to the work of Jesus in and through us, much like rust on gears… (even with the best of intentions and motives).


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 3-13-2012

    It’s the old form vs. function debate! Thanks, as always!

  2. 3-14-2012

    A complementary paradigm is “fluidity.” (Little friction, but creative force.) There are really only two sources of revelation from God for the believer (outside of Creation itself): the Holy Spirit and the word of God.

    We want to be on the lookout for when God works through his word and Spirit within the body of Christ. This might come through any member of the body. So the gathering of the saints needs to be open and flexible enough to make room for this and receive from God as we edify one another.

    An attentive mindset, similar to when we are nurturing and engaging our children, watches and listens for God to speak and work through the lives of his children (our spiritual siblings). Approaching our lives as worship, in spirit and truth, transforms us by the renewing of our minds to not only honor God but be of use to our brethren. As we bear fruit for God, we have something to bring to the feast and share with his hungry saints.

  3. 3-14-2012


    It is somewhat like form vs. function. Unfortunately, sometimes the way the church talks about “function” can also get in the way of what Jesus wants to do through us (in my opinion, of course).


    I like the idea of fluidity as well. Thanks!


  4. 3-14-2012

    All that I have ever learned that was of eternal benefit, was by doing exactly this: Listen for the Lord’s voice, in every person, scripture, creation, and then inside my own heart for the a-men.

  5. 3-15-2012


    Yes. This post – and others that I write – are meant to encourage people to not allow forms, structures, and organizations to silence any of those voices through whom God may choose to speak.


  6. 3-16-2012

    Nee observed that the priests wore linen, that they should not sweat. This indicates that our activity in the Kingdom should have no scent or indication of human effort, if it be truly by Him, through Him, and to Him. There should be a certain ease about it, a “natural supernatural.” Paul states that he did not go beyond the sphere that God had placed him in when he ministered.