I am someone who likes to be organised, I keep a diary and I can get frustrated with people who are less organised and less forward thinking than me. I write a to do list pretty much every day (yes, I know a little too organised). Organisation is helpful and necessary in lots of cases. Some people won’t achieve much in their lives because they keep delaying what they would like to or need to do and stay trapped in one stage and might not progress in life for years. Others like me will reflect on the positives and negatives outcomes of different options and will make more thought through and often harder choices, which might bear more fruit later. Companies need to have a vision, a strategy, a business plan and follow various guidelines and procedures. Organisations need to have a very strong logistic structure if they wish to grow and expand.
However, sometimes I can be too organised that I get anxious about minor things when the unexpected occurs perhaps more than someone else who hasn’t laid out all their options. For example, our car broke down and it cost us £600 to fix it, this has made me more fearful as I have already calculated how much our budget is going to be/needs to be for our travelling.
So now lets turn our heads towards the church and our Christian journey with Jesus. Many churches we go to on a Sunday morning have very structured services and rules that several denominations are expected to follow. Some people might argue that a few of the reasons why various criminal cases are associated with church is that churches were seen as disorganised. If we have all the structures and safeguarding procedures in place, surely these instances would not happen in churches? Yet, the church is a place for broken people and for sinners like you and me.
Still, I wonder whether all these structures and rules have removed the potential for knowing the completeness of Jesus fully. Have we put Jesus in a box and told him what He can and cannot do or do we allow Him to step into our churches and not just to take part but to take full control? How can we do that when we only have 1 hour to run a service on a Sunday morning and we are supposed to include worship, a sermon and prayers all in a structured way in that short amount of time? Where is the space for flexibility and quality time with Jesus?
When we look at what the early churches were like, I would have imagined them more like our informal meetings like the house groups and the discipleship groups that meet in the week. The members of the church took part in the services and contributed with prophecies, encouragements, prayers, songs, speaking in tongues, sharing communion together etc… None of the members had any special training but were all invited to share what God has put on their heart.
The church needs to give space for flexibility and open their doors for the Holy Spirit to change things around. Yes, change is scary when we don’t know what’s going to happen next. But isn’t it also exciting to know that Jesus has a plan and will do astonishing things when we let Him and give Him space to do so? Or have we lost faith in Him that we need to take control instead of trusting in Him?
So lets not worry about the few of the church members who will groan and moan every time we change something but lets open our eyes to the need to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit so that maybe instead of losing a couple of members, churches will be filled with people who go to church because they want to worship their creator with all of their minds and hearts and are open to whatever God has in store for them. Instead of turning our services into a theatrical production or a reading test, we need to find a place where we won’t be tempted to role-play before God but instead we come as honestly and simply as we can.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,