Friday, March 13, 2009

Principle vs Method

When a revival happens, it is often started by one person who have received something from God. Be it Martin Luther or The Wesley brothers. Each is responsible to add back what was lost to bring the church back to where God will come eventually for His glorious church .

In my time as a christian, we have gone from Singing Hymns with Church organ to Praise and worship and a full band, from a non-tongue speaking person to one filled with the Holy spirit and moving in the gift of God. From a congregational church to a cell-church.

As we come closer to the end times, i see God adding more facets to the church and it is important that we must allow the Holy spirit to lead us in this new area of our church life. We are called a movement because it is always moving and changing.

But it is important to also always realise that we must not let methods become principle and principle become the law. If things doesn't work, we need to change, we need to learn also from other churches and see what God is doing around the world.

Many of my friends who have left the church, often have one common theme, we were always too close up and often we seldom or never invite other preachers. We often think we have the best method, best style and best structure. As the world and church movement change, where once we were at the forefront of church growth have not been lagged far behind, where church have discovered more arenas God wants to add back, we were still only talking about world mission.

In fact, when i first joined Hope, it was a revolutionary thinking, Global church planting, but other churches have caught on Global missions, in fact many big churches are already doing just that, my friend's church where once was a local church have started to church plant as well

In the meantime, other churches have also added new areas into the Church. Churches have started writing songs, producing CDs, going on TV actively engaging the community through business and culture. God has always wanted us to be the head and not the tail. God wants us to claim back what belongs to God.

It would be good that we start to explore other area of God's gift- because of how we use to structure alot of our ministry. People whose gifts centres on teaching, missions and pastoral, often will prosper in the church, But not many on other areas like worship, prophetic and signs and wonders, etc.

Keep what works and throw our what doesn't, reduce turnover and build on momentum.

Serving God is not only just doin church ministry work - we can all serve God in our family, career, our relationship and community work. Allow yourself to explore because in truth not everyone is called to become missionary or church pastor if so, who is going to be the businessman, who is going to be the musican and worshpi leader who is going to play supporter .

God has designed and created each and everyone different, take this time to discover your gift.

Keep the principles as it is unchanging but methods will

Now what you might say is principle and method

For eg. God wants us to win the world - Matt 18 ( in the bible ). that is principle. Going to the streets to evangelise, become a missionary and go to another country. That is method, because it answers the How question. You can also win the world by starting a school and be a businessman and use the money you make to help the poor and share christ. You can produce an album and share your songs to the world. These are methods that can be used to help spread the word.

Because as we are all created with different gifts. if we only use one formula, then we will leave out those who are gifted in other areas.

God wants us to build churches - yes but how we do it is method.
You can send a team, you can help a struggling church, you can send a big team to one place, or send multiple teams its really up to you and these are methods.

I really hope as we move on... we will transform ourselves and be a better church


Anonymous said...

Good post, especially about the preaching/teaching that only comes from one person.

Suggest start with agreed upon definitions. For example, a word like "revival" is interpreted in different ways. In our church we are struggling to deal with this exact issue.

Most see revival as an period in time where many turn to Christ or recommit thier lives to Him.

Others see revival (or the Fire of God) as the manefest presense of God where people shake, laugh, fall down, scream, cry, etc during the service. They are called revivalists. They often believe in keeping what is started even though it clearly doesnt work. In their eyes, everything works because they are "doing what God told them to do".

So be careful with who you associate with. Discern what is a God given gift versus something that is man made (not a gift at all).

Anonymous said...

Great post.. i tink Hope's Vision is truly unique and Its philosophy is aso one of the best. All it lacks is the hearts of Man to serve our mighty God.

Anonymous said...

It is not just about not inviting other preachers.

Listen to the messages. They are focused on self-development teachings or principles. And not deep truths of God.

When I was in Hope, I didn't feel challenged to know God deeply or to seek Him. I was constantly hungy & thirsty for my Lord, but every Sunday, I seemed to just have old bread & water as a spritual meal. I had been yearning to solid meat!

This has been conveyed so so many times, but to no avail.

Because of Hope's V&P, the preachers shared related messages to develop people to be able to plant churches - but forgetting "to build strong & biblical people" first.

In Hope, a person who is not anointed as a preacher can preacher. So, what kind of messages you get?

Messages that so watered down that young members take as good as the gospel truth. Can you imagine, as member who is suppose to be a shepherd (another term I disapprove), believes that we ought to feed the Holy Spirit!

How do you think this garbage ended up in this member's mind?

Or, how about the message a UL taught in Word For Life class that it is not God's will for ladies to suffer during child birth and that if they do, it is sin?

So, really, what kind of messages are being from the top?

Food for thought!