I just came from a regular fellowship meeting with pastors from our city. We meet every other Tuesday for prayer and general discussion. Several of us have been in the group for over 20 years and we have truly enjoyed getting to know new folks as they have come. It is an interesting group from a variety of denominations and backgrounds. We solve the world’s problems and pray for each other.
Over the past few years I have noticed a change in the flavor of our group. It seems to me that God is doing something. Rather than comparing our programs and doctrines, we just talk about what Jesus has done and what we think He will do. What I mean is that it is less and less about our churches and more about Him.
We seem to be learning that God is truly doing something in our culture. There are a lot of hungry people, people who need and want the Lord. But we also seem to be learning that God is not particularly stuck on doing His thing through the churches. Church membership and attendance, church programs and policies, church projects and distinctives: these don’t seem to be where God is moving today.
No, I don’t think God is abandoning the churches. I do think He is telling us to watch Him and be of one mind with Him. If He wants to reach someone outside of traditional venues and build them outside the traditional church, that should be fine with us. We must not be like the Pharisees who wanted Jesus to mold Himself to their traditions and structures. Instead, let’s rejoice whenever we see God at work.
Once again, it is about Him, not us. This is what grace reveals.