Re-Imagine Church

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:19-22)

Its easy to believe that God is in the process of perfecting His Church. The institution we have come to know as “Christ’s Body” has experienced enormous change over the 2000 years since Jesus’ day. Some people have found the variety and flavor of church culture an encouraging mix; with mega churches and home churches, store fronts and village outposts, there is something for almost everyone’s taste. Others have left the whole thing behind in disgust, feeling more confused than ever about their trust in church dynamics, their relationship with each other and worse of all, their faith in God.

Yet, somewhere in the midst of all the chaos; surely, there remains a remnant. A remnant of Kingdom People; cut from the original fabric we see in the Book of Acts. People who the Apostle Paul spoke of as “Ambassadors for Christ”, with a “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18-20). The people Jesus is willing to call “friends” (Jn. 15:14), who hunger for the heart of God and will not settle for an institutional substitute.

When Jesus said “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18)… He was imagining something that most of the world has yet to embrace. 

Jesus is wanting us to re-imagine Church, as He intended it to function and advance His Kingdom in the Earth. His heart is for a lost and broken World looking for truth in all the wrong places. Could the Church once again become the place where people find God? I believe the answer to that question is – Yes! But only if we will get our blueprints from heaven… not the wisdom of man or traditional religious systems.

3 Key Thoughts the Apostle Paul Emphasizes:

  1. The Purpose… is for a habitation of God by His Spirit!
  2. The Foundation… is Christ as the Chief Cornerstone and the teaching ministry of the Apostles and Prophets!
  3. The Process… is a joining together and growing house that results in a holy temple; a spiritually vibrant and pure people, in the Lord!

The Habitation of God:

One of the most valuable thoughts the Apostle Paul makes in regards to why the Church exists, is this summary statement… “for a habitation of God in the Spirit”  (Eph. 2:22). Throughout Biblical history there have been literally hundreds of story lines for how God spoke with His people, walked with His chosen leaders and made Himself known as their “very present help in times of need”. But, what we must never miss is the fact that God wants fellowship, simply because He loves us and desires to live among us.

The Household of God:

Habitation is a deeply intimate, relational dynamic reserved for only one type of human interaction… the family. God wants the Church to look like a family! A family so strong that the gates of hell itself will not prevail against it, so strong that Satan has no authority or power to cause harm. A family where God is “Our Father” and we are given the wonderful privlege of life in His Glory (His Shekinah), living as His children (Jn. 1:12). 

A Dwelling Place:

Unlike any other social institution, the Church is designed to be a dwelling place (a shekan) for God on the Earth. Therefore, the Church must welcome God as the place designed and perfectly suited for Him, similarly to the way King Solomon welcomed the Glory of God into the Temple (2 Chron. 5:7-14).

The goal is that the Church would function in community, as fellow “citizens with the saints” and “members of a household” with purpose and priorities, values and dominion. What makes the Church function as a family is the Manifest Presence of God governing, abiding and responding in the midst of its activities. Notice how the Holy Spirit speaks to the Apostles in the Book of Acts…

As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

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