You know, the Bible is so clear about trying to put “new wine in old wineskins.” To me that means, that forever we will be making element and mental changes to our services and churches, while never compromising any page of the scripture. It’s called packaging changes, language changes, and M.O. changes.
Kim and I were in two different churches yesterday:
- Cumberland Church, Franklin, TN, Eddie Johnson, Pastor.
- Crosspoint Church, Nashville, TN, Pete Wilson, Pastor.
Interestingly enough, both of these guys are amazing leaders, both of these churches provided fabulous worship experiences, both of these churches have grown at a racecar pace, and both of their churches meet in buildings that, at one time, had vibrant, growing, energetic denominational congregations meeting in them. For whatever reason, these churches no longer needed the space. My thoughts began to run, as Kim and I had just been in a similar setting in Charlotte, NC a few weeks ago where Next Level Church had bought a building of an established church that had gotten down to 30 people.
Here is and was my premise and I said to Kim regarding Charlotte: “Not that he ever would have wanted to, but I’m postiive that that church would have never voluntarily let Todd come in and transform their current church to healthiness. They would choose to die before they would do that. Todd’s church had to be started from the outside with no hoops to jump through, grow so much they were out of space, and then purchase that church at a later date.” 28 of those 30 people are now in Next Level Church, which has more than 600 in attendance.
Why is that? It’s happening all over the United States and will happen even more. Churches that won’t radically alter their current way of doing church and mentality of doing church, will continue to decline, falter, and fail, and whether you like it or not, will either be given away to another church, leased by another church, given back to a denomination, or bought by another church that has moved to the area and launched a new church, which, by the way, is the greatest evangelistic tool this side of heaven! This is the very reason that revival is coming to America through church planting.
ILLUSTRATION: I had a good friend tell me the horrible story of his parents drowning in a local lake. He said that when he found them, they were hanging on to an old log there in the lake and here is the most fascinating part. He said that what they didn’t know was that if they had just put their feet down into the water, they could have walked out. The water was that shallow.
Many, many churches need to just put their feet down and walk out of their mess. However, very few established churches really want change! They ALL say they do, but most don’t. There is too much history the old way, too many people pleasers, and too many of the old guard in the church cemetary for the current crew of leadership to hold fast and make the radical, renegade, and pioneer changes necessary to find new life for their church. They will hang on to their history until their death, if need be, so that everybody left will be proud of them. All of this in exchange for a slow death of the once vibrant body; All of this posturing while 80% of their county attend no one’s church. The Bible was way ahead of it’s time…it knew what it was talking about!
Coming soon, to your town!