Dec 09 2010
|A Seed Planted 12-08-10|
|Written by Danny Couch|
|Thursday, 09 December 2010|
THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH: Business meetings, ordered worship, liturgical calendars, Constitution and By-laws, Roberts Rule of Order, hymnals, nice buildings, fancy parlors, denominations, members, committees, rules, procedures, and policies, emphasis on taking care for our own membership.
THE EXPERIENTIAL CHURCH: Creative Chaos, spontaneous, ministry, global concerns, emphasis on taking care of those outside the church, spirit led, Yoga, open table, digital, wifi, non-denominations, discipleship, big screens.
In the 1940's and 50's the INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH was the church of preference and Christianity thrived in a America. Over 90% Americans believed in God and most saw themselves as being religious (Institutional)
Today, only 8% of Americans see themselves as religious as the trend moves toward being more Spiritual (Experiential). Only 65% of Americans believe in God and are looking for other options in order to find God outside the INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH. As a result, of the 22,000 denominations and Christian religious experiences, all but four are in decline.
Which is more important, The INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH or THE EXPERIENTAL CHURCH? The answer is both. 55% of Americans see the need for both the INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH (Religion) and the EXPERIENTIAL CHURCH (Spirituality). This is good news.
When I think of the Gospels, I view the Pharisees as representing the Institutional Church; rules, laws, customs, membership, rigid structure. I see Jesus as striving to inject a little Spirituality into the veins of the church in order for it to reach out more to the masses, to be more inclusive of outcasts, to place into ministry those who the institutional church would never allow: tax collectors, women, demon possessed, etc... I see Jesus attempting to change the INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH into being more EXPERIENTIAL. To rely more on the Spirit of the Living God to guide and direct the church and not traditions, rituals and laws and by-laws.
The greatest challenge we face as a part of a dying breed (Christianity) is to open ourselves up to the many experiences that God is challenging us to accept by the movement of Christ's Spirit. We can't afford to get caught up on what it used to be; rather the focus is where God is leading us next.
Not too late to sign up for Mission Ecuador: March 12-17. Feel free to send me your comments.
|< Prev||Next >|