No matter what denomination you are a part of, there are some components you will always find: 1) a worship leader, 2) one preacher 3) a pulpit and 4) spectators. With variations in styles and duration, this is the structure of the church since the days of Constantine. I challenge anybody to find this structure in the New Testament.
We are fighting MMA, but only training in boxing. Outside of the jab, cross, hook and uppercut we don’t know any other hand strikes. We don’t know how to kick or defend against any kick. We don’t have any ground fighting knowledge nor the proper conditioning for such style of fighting. However, week after week we train with the best boxing trainers in the world; we improve our foot work, our jab, our cross, our hooks and upper cuts, but we wonder why we keep getting choke out every time we fight in the octagon. The answer to this problem seems to be obvious. To be a successful MMA (Mix Martial Artist) you must train in all aspects of fighting. To survive as a believer, we need the whole council of God, not denominational talking points.
Depression, anxiety, suicidal spirits, dependency on drugs (legal and illegal), alcoholism, pornography, social media addictions, etc. are not going to be overcome with this show time in the apollo style of church we have today. The answer is not a new thing; the answer is to go back to the ancient ways; the old path that works.
The modus operandi of the church is Acts 2:42, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (ESV) The church is a church of order; it has its own government; however, the church is a family and in the New Testament structure the people participate. First Corinthians 14:26 tells us, “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.” (ESV)
Did folks meet in a building? Was the size of the building the evidence of the pastor’s success? In the beginning Christians met in houses and, they continue meeting in the synagogues. However, soon, as their faith became known, they were no longer meeting in the synagogues, they met in homes, and it was so for over 300 hundred years until Constantine made his version of Christianity the official church in the Roman Empire.
I know that many pastors have a good heart, and they really want to help people; however, they are victims of the structure. The aspire the wrong thing, big buildings, and big congregations. They are so busy that they can’t do what they are called to do, pastor the flock. They have become businessmen and political figures. They are training boxers in an MMA world. Their system proves to be ineffective year after year, they know is not working, but they can’t get out. After all, everybody else is doing it, so it must be right.
A little over six months ago I finally decide to obey God and start a home church; it has been challenging to put it kindly. But I can actually find what I am doing in the New Testament, and I know, when everything is set and done, that the church will look more closely to home churches than to this monster we have created.