As a church leader I never thought I would need to address this topic with You, but alas, I must. It has to do with the way You work in the Church. I know the New Testament gives many examples of Your supernatural intervention in people’s lives and some amazing things You did with the early church. I am also aware it teaches that Spirit-filled believers are given supernatural gifts and can use them to minister to others and build up the church. However, in this new age, there must be a change. We don’t need You to do those things anymore.
This may come as a surprise to You, but it has been determined by the experts that You are NOT “visitor friendly”. Today we have a new revelation of the Great Commission which Jesus gave to the church. Actually, we know now that what He really meant to say was, “Go therefore and fill the churches with as many breathing individuals as you can! They bore easily so don’t try to teach them too much. And don’t push discipleship because that is too demanding. And I will be there whenever you need something.”
We have also come to realize that allowing You to move supernaturally in the Church Service is messy, too emotional and, well….kind of embarrassing. We have chosen to replace you with activities that are much more effective, cool and acceptable.
You see, we discovered that multi-media, cutting-edge music, and entertaining soft messages are easier for unbelievers to handle. They don’t need to experience the supernatural. There is no need for them to encounter guilt or conviction for their sin. Your power in their lives and the gifts of the Spirit are just not that necessary anymore. We figured out that what the world really needs to see are the great skills and creativity of the paid professionals who perform at the church each week. After all, we humans are different today. We don’t need that “old fashioned” stuff from the past. We need a fast-paced, digitally controlled atmosphere that appeals to the masses and helps folks get their religious experience quickly and easily. Then we top it off with enough wow factor to make sure they come back for more.
Surely you’ve noticed the gimmicks and methods we use. The music pierces our eardrums and drowns out the lyrics. Man, we can really feel it now. We’ve got colored flashing lights, dark worship space, and special effects rivaling any rock band. We’ve made Church fun and a great place to hang out for an hour.
People really like us since we’ve made the changes. Look at all the responses we have on Facebook and how many subscribe to our streaming videos! Our church and the leaders are finally getting the fame and recognition we deserve.
The people who attend our services are sophisticated, advanced and eager to get back to our lives after the service. They don’t want in-depth, systematic teaching and preaching anymore. It’s too hard to sit through all that stuff. Your people are in a hurry today. All they really need is inspiration, love, and something to belong to.
We leaders have also realized that if You were to move supernaturally in our services, some could fall to the floor and be overwhelmed (convicted) by their sin and discover their desperate need for Jesus. There might be a spontaneous song that would stir the church to a deeper level of worship. A prophetic word could come from an anointed believer that may stir us up to a new level of commitment.
Then there’s that other messy stuff: speaking/praying in tongues, interpretation, miracles, healing, and discerning of spirits. You have to understand if you did these things the church leadership would feel like we don’t have control. Worse yet, there might be a response from the audience that we leaders don’t want and could possibly make people feel uncomfortable. We just can’t have this in our church anymore.
We do want You to be present among us, but please, stay in the little religion box we have made for You. Please don’t interfere with our concert and the little show we put together. We’ve finally achieved the perfect blend of religion and entertainment. Our audience is content and they feel good about bringing their family and friends now.
We’ll continue to teach about you in our membership class so our people know the basics. We’ll even throw in those verses about the spiritual gifts because we do believe in them. We just don’t want anyone to use them in the service because they don’t really fit into our program.
So please help us maintain our visitor-friendly environment and stay in Your place. We have everything we need now to run the Church for Jesus.
Note to reader: Is this really the kind of church we want? Is this really the kind of relationship we want with the Spirit of God? Much of the church has fallen into deception and worldliness. While there is nothing wrong with utilizing modern methods to reach out to the world, it is wrong to make them the primary focus of what we do and exclude the operation of the Holy Spirit.
We are called to be God-centered, not people-centered. We must not water down the message to make the unbelievers comfortable so they will stay. Instead, our duty is to boldly proclaim the whole counsel of God. The Holy Spirit is NOT embarrassing but empowering and needs to be honored and yielded to so He can do His work.
Church leaders need to fall on their faces and seek God for an outpouring of the Spirit. We must create an atmosphere where He can flow and thrive. All those filled with the Spirit must have the opportunity and freedom to use their spiritual gifts. No single leader has the full expression of Jesus. That’s why He pours out the Holy Spirit on every believer who receives Him. As we all flow together as the Body of Christ, Jesus will be able to meet the needs of all who are present.
It’s time to dismantle the modern church. We must return it to Jesus and surrender to Him. The Church belongs to Him. He died for it, redeemed it and empowered it. We must allow Him to build it the way He wants.
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