It continues to amaze me that many of the things that seem to be at the center of conflict in many churches today are not found anywhere in the story of the New Testament church. The things that many fuss and argue about and leave churches over today aren't even mentioned in the New Testament--anywhere. The conflicts we experience because of these "things", I believe, could be avoided, to some degree, if these "things" did not even exist, if we just did away with them. Sure, there would still be conflict because we are imperfect people living life together. But, oh, the simplicity of the early church in the book of Acts without the formal systems and structures and operating procedures and programs that are present in many of our churches today.
I can hear some people now, "but, what about...". Yes, and even in my own mind, I hear myself saying, "but..." I don't have all the answers as to what that would look like in the 21st century. But, I have my suspicion that more ministry might be getting done.
The simplicity of being the people of God who meet together on a regular basis for mutual edification as a sent people with a heart for God's mission has somehow become clouded. The complexities of many churches' operating procedures and the maintenance of those systems have replaced the primary calling that ought to be driving our ministries. Often times, the systems & structures & programs we have in place drive the ministry instead of the mission driving the systems, structures, & programs. That seems backwards to me in light of Jesus' words in Matthew 6:33.
The kingdom of God in the mission of the church ought to be in the driver's seat of all decision-making processes and systems of operation. As we prioritize the kingdom of God, we have a supernatural focus point for our identity and our purpose.
What do you think?