Monday, August 14, 2006

Liquid Church

Pete Ward has written a book titled Liquid Church. Though I haven't read it, the metaphor fascinates me. It suggests a huge paradigm shift in our thinking about the church.
Traditionally, the church has been thought of in solid forms, with buildings being the most common. Have we missed, however, the foundational function of liquid in the formation and growth of the church?
Consider: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" - John 3:5.
"He who believes in me, as the Scriptures said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.' " - John 7:38.
These two statements of Jesus are just a tiny example of the many, many references in Scripture using water as a metaphor for the life and activity of God's people. By not recognizing the fluidity that God apparently intends his church to function in, have we locked ourselves into such a static and solid form that is so rigid that the smallest of movements causes a shaking and breaking?
Water, on the other hand, is free flowing, able to go around, over, under and through obstacles that confront it. Able to seep through the tightest cracks and smallest of openings, water can begin to saturate and fill up the most unlikely places. Not only is it a source of power, but most importantly, it provides life wherever it goes.
So much is being written today about church structure, recognizing that what is currently in existence is not working. Could our problem be that we're thinking solid structures, not liquid structures? Unlike the solid structured church, the church that is a liquid structure is free to flow with the wind-like movement of the Holy Spirit.
While I'm not suggesting that the church is the water spoken of by Jesus in the above mentioned Scriptures, I am suggesting that the time has arrived to make a radical change from solid to liquid structure for the church.

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