Going Deep…

icebergIf you remember learning about icebergs in Elementary or Middle School you know that what you see sticking out of the water is only a small fraction of the whole thing.

Over the last 2 years I have walked through a major change in ministry.  God began some things in the church I serve that have caused me to take a fresh and new look at my faith, my theology, my walk, and my views of what the church is and does.  This has been an incredible journey of discovery.  However, not everyone around you is ready to take the journey or handle what you discover.  Like Jesus in John 6:66, many of His disciples turned away because they could not handle what He was saying to them, and they quit following Him.

For most, if you asked about or mentioned church, their first thought would picture a building located at some specific address.  You know the question, “where do you go to church?”  If this represents the iceberg above the water, what is below the surface.  If all we experience is what we see on the surface, we miss the beauty of all that is below.  Sadly, many believers will spend their whole life just on the surface and want nothing else or reject the notion that anything under the surface should be explored.

Let me prophecy (throw stones if you want), there is a shift happening – a global shift.  As I have cried, prayed and searched, I am finding there are more people walking the way of Jesus than you will find warming a pew on Sunday.  They are living in intentional communion and community with Jesus and other believers.  They are committed to be the church, not just attend church.

The church as we have known it is in crisis.  Our culture is changing and this current and next generation of spiritual seekers are looking for something more than church attendance.  They are looking for more than religion.  They want more than a life of lip service.  For them, what is on the surface has no meaning without all that’s underneath.

What’s on the surface just doesn’t cut for me anymore.  I’ve got to have what’s underneath.  The truth is, the surface no longer satisfies and looses meaning without the beauty of the depths of Jesus and all that the church should really be.

Time is short, ‘ve got to leave off here.  I will probably revisit this in my next post.  I hope I have stirred something in you.  If so please leave a comment.  I cannot be the only one feeling this.  I know I’m not.

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6 responses to “Going Deep…

  1. wellwateredgarden

    No, you’re not the only one feeling this.

    Jesus said that His followers should be a ‘light’ on a hill and flavorful ‘salt’ to the earth. We should be ‘in the world’ though not of it.

    Unless a person is prepared to come out of the church building and into the world where God is working he will need to be continually stroked with group hugs and yet more sermons for without them he will not be secure.

    Let’s lock the doors of all churches and lay off all professional salaried ‘ministers’ for six months and see what happens.

    Acts of the Apostles (chapter 8) records such an event and great things happened.

    The way I see it, anyway …

  2. Is it crisis? Or are we being pruned to have greater fruit? I can see the need for pruning. There has been a lot of thorny branches.

  3. You’re not the only one! Our church has its share of pew warmers, but in general, the people who are committed seem to be hungry for more and more of God. What the church needs is a healthy dose of persecution too.

  4. wellwateredgarden

    I don’t know how that (happy?) face got on my comment, but it eliminated the number 8 … Acts 8.

    What I notice people in church to be hungry for is the latest music and ‘good’ sermons. Having ‘worshiped’ to the latest Christian release and listened to yet another great sermon now seems to be synonymous with being an acceptable Christian.

    Being a Christian two hours each week is not that difficult.

  5. I agree bro! I think many people in pews and parishes have been concerned more with the organizational product than personal commitment and community service. I’ve been making the effort as of late to hang my identity on 1 John 3:1, my worship on Luke 10:27, and my way of life on Acts 2:42-48.

    We’re searching hard for it – and as scripture says we’ll find Him when we seek HIM with all of our hearts.

    Love you man,
    Scott

  6. Selah! Once again John, you have expressed the desire of more and more believers, to go beyond church as a cultural experience! There are over 2 billion Christians in the world today! Isn’t that awesome?, but how many of them really want to go deeper? I’m one, just like you and others. It is a crisis the church is facing…one of luke warm faith, relying on our strength and programs, rather than asking God to give us a measure of His dynamite power and then, taking the gospel to the dark places of the world! and the dark places are right here! There is a great need in this country, but the laborers are few! No John, you’re not alone.

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