As I travel around this country (the U.S.) and others helping and planting organic New Testament style churches I have learned many things. One of the questions I have asked is why do organic churches fail? Now of course I first need to define what I mean by “fail”. I’m not just referring to groups that “fall apart” in the sense that they no longer meet. But what about the groups that continue to meet for years and yet are failing to exist for their original purpose?
The Eternal Purpose of God
“And He is the Head of the Body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that He Himself might have the first place in all things.” Col. 1:18
This verse, in a nutshell, summarizes the eternal purpose of God. God, the Father, wants all positive things in the universe to find their center in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. That Christ would be the All in all. That He Himself (not just things about Him) would be the First, the Center, the Source, the Life, the Beginning, and the End of all things.
Wow! What an awesome purpose!
The Eternal Plan of God
But how is He going to accomplish this glorious purpose? In other words, what is the “method” by which He will get His purpose? There is only one way. It is in and through His people, the Church. Paul called this a “mystery.”
“Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:25-27)
There it is! God’s eternal purpose. The reason for everything.
I don’t know about you but it sounds to me like God has a purpose (goal) and a plan to achieve that goal. He wants to make his Son the Center and Life of all things. That is, the Son Himself, His very Person. And the way (plan or method) is to place that Son into humans. Those humans (the Church) will then express His Life to all creation (visible and invisible).
Now, here is the all important question:
How do you, dear reader, fit into that plan?
Well, if you are a believer then this purpose and plan are your purpose and plan! In fact, it’s the very reason you exist!
Next question: if all this is true, then how does this purpose and plan get lived out in your daily life?
You see it’s very easy to simply declare to yourself and others that your life is first and foremost for God and His purpose. It’s so easy to say that. But does your life practically reflect that statement? When the rubber meets the road is Christ and His Church the first and foremost in your everyday life?
Or are you too busy to make that a practical reality in your life? You see the Christ-life is much more than your personal testimony of faith, your doctrine, your church attendance, or your morality.
It’s about the way you live!
Is Christ and the Church first and foremost? You see the “litmus test” will come out in your daily life. As I stated at the beginning of this post; the number one reason organic churches fail to fulfill God’s purpose is that the people in those churches are just too busy! What are they so busy doing, you may ask? They are going about living out their natural lives. Getting married, building careers, getting an education, raising families, going on vacation, accumulating wealth and material possessions, etc. etc. The lifestyle in this world system (especially in America) is an extremely fast-paced, success driven, high-stress, comfort-driven, self-driven, busyness-driven whirlwind of confusion and pressure. This is for the purpose of taking care of our “needs” (though a lot of wants are usually included). Keeping up with the Jones’s definitely plays a part as well.
But wait…stop everything…
Wasn’t there someone who walked on this planet a while back who claimed that he would take care of all our needs?
“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
Just think…the Lord of all things promised you and I that He would take care of all our needs if we would just put His kingdom first! Do you, dear reader, actually believe that He will do that?
In essence He said that if we place His purpose and desire (kingdom) first then He would take care of all those things that we spend so much time, energy, and thought worrying about! He greatly desires a Bride, a House, a Family, a Kingdom, a Civilization where all the citizens are completely centered and focused on the awesome All in all!
But instead most Christians are just too busy!
Dear reader, are You too busy?
Too busy to place His purpose first and to seek after it with all your heart, strength, and mind?
Too busy to make Him first and foremost? Think about it.
If this blog post has touched you in some way then I would love to hear from you. either place a comment or email me privately at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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