Cookie Cutter Churches

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Fresh Wind

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Although I grew up through my middle school years attending a church of a different denomination, most of my experiential knowledge comes as a Southern Baptist. When I began attending SB churches, they were all pretty similar. The buildings looked the same, although those with money dressed a little more pretentiously than less affluent buildings. The difference was typically some had better preachers than others.

Now that there are “contemporary” and “traditional” variations there is some difference. Still within the various genre of church styles, they still tend to look alike. I am not suggesting that is necessarily a negative reality, or for that matter a positive either. But it begs a simple question: How much of church life in the 21st western church is simply imitation?

Don’t misunderstand me. I believe in the value of the church.: It is the Bride of the Lord Jesus, after all. But I wonder: Do we spend too much time in a programmatic sense? Someone discovers a combination that leads to excitement and church growth and there is a new program to implement.

There was a day that I recall early in my ministry when I seemed to hear more frequently about the need of spiritual awakening. What we need, I was told then, and I believe now, is a fresh wind of God to blow upon the church in the person of the Holy Spirit. What would happen if we spend as much time in fasting and prayer as we do in implementing the next new thing? I suspect that the revival (or revitalization as I hear now) of the church would happen regardless of whether we are singing hymns, or modern praise choruses, whether we are dressed in suits or jeans. For then, it would truly be about God, not us.

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