Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mission not possible

I've been rethinking much of the church...

Frankly I'm already tired of the negative aspect of it...the basic premise that it is not working should be obvious to anyone who is honest, and if you are not honest you are probably a large part of the current empire system we call church, sorry to be so blunt.

There are pockets where it does work, there are a handful (at best) of communities where the church is making a significant impact for good, but even there the measurable metric is not the driving factor in the community...not yet anyway.

I'm not suggesting that church in itself is not good, just that its impact on the local level is probably a zero sum equation, it does some good for some people, but by that fact alone it probably alienates and has unintended consequences that affect just as many others in a negative way.

I can give you specifics but its probably a dialogue we aren't exactly ready for yet.

What I do notice is the incredible pressure we put on pastors who have genuine shepherds hearts but truly lack the wiring for the assignment we need most...its a bit unfair and a lot like asking Florence Nightingale to organize the D-Day invasion, it horrifies her sensibilities and guarantee's her strategy will do more harm than good...

And that is exactly the metaphor we need at this moment...your mission in God is a suicide mission but the kingdom cannot accomplish the victory already purchased without your participation...its D-day...

The language of Jesus and the early Apostolic church completely supports this model, it is one of being sent into a hostile environment, with not promise you will survive, only that you will win, language like "they loved not their loves unto death", overcoming in the New Testament is not about over-powering, its about sacrifice and the blood of martyrs and selling all and going...

Its a suicide mission that guarantees life...

Jesus demonstrated it, the Apostles demonstrated it, Paul told Timothy to prepare for it, Revelation is full of it and we have to embrace it if we want to reach our destiny in God.

Shepherds cannot lead that goes against their very nature to comfort and sustain green pasture like stillness for the flock...and yet these are the ones we have put in charge of the invasion...that's really not a good strategy and definitely not the Biblical model.

What if to reach your dream, your assignment in God it would require you to sell all you have, give it away and just go in faith to another place? 

Do you really think a local pastor is going to be able to sign off on that? Of course not, the system requires your presence and tithe to keep the rest of the flock safe and secure, but the idea that we are called to lay down our lives and obey regardless of the cost is certainly not alien to the teaching of Jesus or the Apostolic mission....actually both pretty much require it...

This is where the comments will filter in about being "to heavenly minded to be any earthly good" and about living in "balance" both concepts not found in the New Testament...whats balanced or "practical" about turning over money changers tables and calling for more prayer, or preaching until a riot ensues and you get thrown in jail?

My point is this, you are never going to be satisfied until you give your all to your mission in God whatever that is for you, and it is NOT your Pastors job to guide you, sustain you, or arm you for the battle, his primary job is to comfort you, let you rest and recover, and provide a safe place for you to heal...beyond that the local pastor is primarily just a nurse in a hospital away from the battle, except for a few who are sort of like M.A.S.H. units in the heat of it.

SO you should stop expecting them to help you reach your dreams...if they are God dreams they will require everything you are and a pastor cannot require that, it perverts the call...

So lets stop placing this kind of expectation on the typical Sunday church Pastoral is simply NOT going to happen and the primary proof of this is sitting in the pew with the unfulfilled assignment every week...if our model of pastoral culture could have accomplished the Mission of Jesus (and how your mission coincides with that) then we would be there by now because this model is at least several hundred years old.

Stop looking for the answer there, you are not going to find it.

This brings up an entirely difficult discussion about what in the fatal fires ARE we doing, since we don't seem to be advancing the Kingdom Mission, but that would require us leaving our safe and comfortable hospital pews and actually looking at the battle plans...



  1. Anonymous10:15 PM

    You’re on the right track with that Mark. I hear your ache for the Lord’s beloved bride. Allow me to help you adjust your view a bit from what we see in the traditional churches so that you can be encouraged, to fix your mind on that which is right and lovely and pure and true: I know many many people who are completely sold out – willing warriors – going wherever they are sent, when they are sent, and the results of their ministry is stellar, off the charts good! They are storming the gates of hell here and abroad with superior – Godly results. It is part of my ministry to have “the good report” ready at hand, in season and out of season, of what God is doing and about to do, and I can go on for hours and hours and hours about the very people you hope are out there – Mark, it is an entire army, assembled, and armed with strategies, advancing! They’re marching forward, quickly, fully equipped, fully provisioned, surrounded by heavenly beings, the Presence of Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Laid down lovers of God. I am one of the COUNTLESS many. Take heart, Mark. There is a revival going on in the U.S. and across the earth. I, for one, have had the blessings of my pastors, been commissioned for my missions and sent out by God and my church to do the Lord’s bidding, many times into the unknown. Our intercessors have laid the foundation we stand on, the five-fold ministry is the government of God that He carries on His shoulders and it doesn’t require a pastor to be a pastor if s/he is not (a sad truth in much of the church – too often we ask them to be what they are not)! There is room for everyone in this campaign for Christ’s inheritance. Together, As One, Lori

  2. Trish4:56 PM

    What you say here reminds me of Edwin Raphael McManus's book titled, The Barbarian Way. If you have yet to read it, methinks you would enjoy it!
    BTW, I like how you think... and I like THAT you think! : )