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Watching the church change from barren to fruitful

Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in blog links, discipleship, edification, gathering, missional, service | 7 comments

Watching the church change from barren to fruitful

Roger at “SimpleChurch Journey” has shared a very interesting list in his post “Choudhrie’s Challenges Re-Visited.” The post is a summary of an essay written by Victor Choudhrie titled “Mega Church to Meta (Beyond) Church” and subtitled “21 Steps to transit from being a barren church to a millionaire of souls.”

Here are some of the interesting “steps” (interesting to me):

3. Phase out programmed Sunday ‘services’ while implementing informal, small
gatherings. The Bride of Christ must have intimacy with her Lord every day, not only for a
couple of hours a week, lest she become unfaithful.

4. Replace Mosaic tithing with Christian sharing, thereby harnessing the enormous,
financial resources, hospitality and goodwill available in Christian homes.

5. Dispense with wafer-and-sip Holy Communion and promote breaking of bread with
simple Agape meals (love feasts) from house to house, that believers take with glad
hearts, ‘and the Lord added to His numbers daily’.

7. Shift from being a spectator-oriented church to a ‘metastasizing’, interactive,
participatory, prophetic church. Empower men, women and youth, to get the dragon off the driver’s seat.

10. Know your identity in Christ: You are a royal-priest, made so by the blood of the Lamb.
Dismantle the ‘Reverend’ culture that divides clergy from layman.

14. Empower every Sunday school, bible school, prayer cell, women’s fellowship, and
cottage meeting, by calling them full-fledged, authentic churches.

18. Reorient your personal paradigm. Your business, workplace or home, wherever you
spend most of your time, is your ‘primary nuclear church’. It matters little whether you
are the CEO, or the janitor or the kitchen queen; you are a full-time minister there and
accountable.

Obviously, there are other “steps” in Choudhrie’s essay besides the ones listed above (14 other steps, to be exact).

I love that the focus of these “steps” is to empower, equip, and send all believers as priests in God’s kingdom, wherever they live, work, etc. These steps recognize that the Spirit indwells all of God’s children, and, therefore, he can and does work through all of them. He does not only work through a few of them.

Given the many exhortations in Scripture toward mutual service, mutual discipleship, mutual edification, mutual teaching, etc., I agree with Choudhrie that taking these steps would help the church grow toward maturity and fruitfulness.

What do you think?


7 Comments

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  1. 12-20-2012

    Oh for sure, I agree with Victor Choudrie on this. Perhaps to western ears he sounds harsh and provocative but actually his points are good ones and should rouse us into action.

    Are we falling short? Should we all be playing a more active role in church life? I think so.

  2. 12-20-2012

    Chris,

    Yes, exactly. And, let’s continue to exhort one another to taking an active role in each other’s lives.

    -Alan

  3. 12-20-2012

    Alan,

    Oh yes! But it must be done while we are able.

    There are a multitude who agree, especially younger ones, where less talk and more action, is the name of the game. Sadly, aging and ill health forces the reverse. The opportunities cannot be taken.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson was right: “The years teach much which the days never knew.”

  4. 12-20-2012

    Maybe it’s worth mentioning that this may be a case of most of us preferring the old wine from old wineskins. And putting the new wine described by VC into the existing structures we think of as church can be a fizzy, damaging, and even explosive, combination.

    Are new structures essential if these ideas are to be held and transported successfully? I suspect the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. (Luke 5:37-38)

  5. 12-20-2012

    Yes Chris, this was my thought too.
    I have seen a number of people in institutions get excited about making some of the changes listed above, but then, the people in charge start realizing that money is going to things other than the building and salaries.
    New wine needs new wineskins or it will burst the old ones.
    Does Choudhrie’s article actually document places where Mega churches have implemented such changes while retaining their overall form?

    Not sure I agree fully with #18’s understanding of ‘church’.
    Yes. We are called to minister wherever God has us.
    No. Not every place we minister can be termed ‘church’.
    That is my understanding anyway.

  6. 12-21-2012

    People who use old wineskins know, from sad experience, that when they put new wine into them they will be destroyed. So they avoid new wine.
    I guess they use them for water.

    Choudhrie’s list seems to suggest that an old, dry, stiff wineskin can be made into a new, flexible one somehow. His method for this is similar to making a car into an airplane. Remove everything from the car that is not like a plane. Then build a plane where the car used to be.

  7. 12-24-2012

    It occurred to me back in college that our indigenous, little group, was, in fact, a “church,” and we needed no other affiliation or accountability, so to speak. How unfortunate that that remains such a radical idea.

    As for where is “church”, the Kingdom of God is in your midst. Am I mistaken to equate the two?