“My Journey Out” (Part 7)


Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6.

The Easter Sunday crowd packed the seats at the school gymnasium where the young church was holding its service. The worship team led off with some awesome music. One song, Hungry, seemed to capture the assembly’s attention, especially its chorus: “So, I wait for you…So, I wait for you.”

As the worship team finished, the young, good-looking pastor walked over to the microphone. He was clapping his hands in appreciation for the great music. Then, he turned toward the assembly, winked an eye and said, “Maybe by now, you’ve realized that we’re a little different than all the other churches in the city…”

The pastor continued on, but I did not hear a single word that he said for the next five minutes or so. I was in a different zone, one where the Holy Spirit had my full attention.

“No, this church is not a bit different than the others,” said the Holy Spirit. “Not one bit different than any of the other churches in this city. If you were, right now, attending a Catholic Church or a Baptist Church or a Pentecostal one or any other church in the city, it would be no different than this one. You would be still sitting like a bump on a log listening to a head frog croak to you. Your only input into this service will be the check you toss into the offering plate when it is passed under your nose. Is this the church Jesus hung on the cross and died for?”

I sat there, stunned by His words. I wanted to weep. I wanted to run. I wanted to vomit. I wanted to quit.

But I did nothing.

On the way home, I told my wife about the experience. She sighed and stared at me. “You’re sure different, aren’t you?” she said. “I really like this church and now this happens.” She looked away.

Now, just so you know, the Holy Spirit was not referring to the doctrines of the different churches. If that were the case, each would be different. But instead, he was referring to the wineskin, the particular format that all traditional churches follow in their services. Basically, they are all the same, in that there is a definite separation between the active few (the clergy) and the passive many (the laity).

So, what about the separation of clergy and laity? Is it scriptural?

(Continued in Part 8.)

Larry Who’s writings and teachings appear on this site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.


Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

6 responses to ““My Journey Out” (Part 7)

  1. Different responsibilities perhaps, different accountabilities…same work

  2. If you were to distribute a flyer throughout the city that said simply “Come to (name the address) for a satisfying experience with God” and 500 people showed up, how many would stay, how many would come back once, how many of those would leave within 6 months? How many would be turned on for God, how many turned off forever?

    Church is not for the mature. Church is for the curious. Before they head out the door as fast as they came in you get to preach the Word clearly, without frills, without any doubt or sugar. A few will find salvation. Of those, who will stay, who will wither, who will never return?

    You could have a fresh crowd every week and don’t quit your day job because the new crowd each week won’t give a whole lot toward the perpetuation of the outreach. Yes, Paul was tent maker to make a living. So don’t go there. God said to bring the tithe to the storehouse.

    As a leader of this new and growing crowd of believers, how would you handle the inevitable hurt feelings and mistreatment, ’cause I guarantee you, we eat our own until we all reach a level of maturity and holiness I haven’t seen yet.

    bottom line — you tolerate the weirdness and diversity or you don’t participate. And how does non-participation teach anyone anything? More is taught by forgiving and staying than through lecture or quoting scripture.

  3. Mark,

    I appreciate your comments.

  4. Jane,

    As usual, you have made some interesting points, but:

    (1) you’ve assumed a church is to be an evangelistic center where people hear the good news preached by a pastor, standing behind a pulpit;

    (2) you’ve mentioned that tithes must come into the storehouse, but it is impossible for us believers to fulfill that particular scripture as there is no Temple or storehouse;

    (3) and you assume that I am not a participant in the Church because I don’t sit in a pew.

    Obviously, I do open myself up to criticism by revealing my reasons for journeying out of the traditional church system. And to be honest, how can I possibly prove that the Holy Spirit has spoken to me? I can’t.

    But there’s more to come and if you like…more to check out.

  5. As I’ve hashed before, I don’t lump all protestantism into “church that feeds the needs.” I don’t include Joel Osteen, Mr Tickle the Ears, and am still skeptical of Mr. Saddleback although his Purpose Driven Life is phenomenal. I very carefully define churches as teaching the Word, especially the old line denominations in a positive light. That said, I believe there are strong believers in every one, just not every one there is a believer. BTW, the storehouse is where people worship. Don’t get picky with semantics.

    People polish people like steel on steel and we all have warts that need sanding. I can be a spiritual giant, unchallenged and tall… when no one’s around to watch.

  6. Jane,

    Remember, I’m talking about the wineskin, not the callings or the believers. There is no doubt that there are godly people in the traditional church.

    Malachi’s referral to the storehouse and tithes is an important difference between the temple system and the New Testament church. Not really being picky on semantics here.

    And I think that you are a spiritual giant, with or without people around you.

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