Saturday, October 28, 2006

Of Structures, Babies and Discipline

The church as we have known it is structured to perpetuate infancy in the believer. We create programs to meet the needs of the church members, rather than designing the ministry in such a way that would require them to become involved in active service to others. Worship services are designed so that people don't have to expend any energy but to just come and be spoon fed whatever is on the menu for that particular day. Most "churchgoers" go day after day, week after week, and year after year without any personal interaction with anyone concerning their spiritual well-being. Thus we see the divorce rate in the church equaling and surpassing the national divorce statistics. The problems of sexual immorality in the church is not much different than what is found outside the church, except for the fact that we keep it hidden better. The love of money is not absent either.
This is not to say that there wouldn't be problems if the church was structured for maturity. But the problems would be far less than the rampant problems we now have. Babies, of course, need everything done for them. But as they mature, they learn to do things for themselves as their parents train them with the discipline that shapes and fashions them into the kind of individuals God created them to be. Where is the parental discipline in the church that raises spiritual babies to maturity? Of course, when the desire is to keep the children dependent so that they have to come to us to be fed and nourished, there won't be any effort to create structures that would bring them to maturity.

That's very true. I wonder however how those who are interested but timid would respond to a much more personal and in-your-face type church setting.

There are those who kind of stand back and watch for a while to see what it's all about and maybe sensing authenticity will want to become more involved.

Then again maybe what's missing is that the church is so afar-off from the more personal nature that it encourages, nay forces, many more throngs of believers and unbelievers alike to be polite, sit in their chairs and watch the show.

Thanks for your comment. You make some very good points. I think you nailed it when you spoke of the church not being personal.
The more personal format would allow the more timid the time to develop relationships whereby they would feel comfortable with those who they are in the process of growing close to.
The church needs to be structured so that believers can challenge and encourage one another (Eph. 4:14-16; Heb. 10:23-25) as they fellowship with one another in the personal relationships that they have formed. I believe this is the pattern presented in the Scriptures as opposed to a handful of religious professionals hired to do the work of the ministry.
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