I hope the title of this article made you pause to think for a moment. It is likely that my play on words brought “status quo” to your mind and then you may have asked yourself… “why did he use a lower case ‘c’ in church?” Let me explain my intent. I used a lower case “c” because I want to differentiate between individual church congregations and the Bride of Christ, or, we might say… the big “C” church. Now, the next part is indeed a play on words to cause people reading this article to consider two possible conditions of any church. A church can have a natural spiritual flow when there is an attraction (inflow) to the Gospel and then an outflow back into the community – filled with the Spirit and transformed into ambassadors for Christ. The opposite of that picture would be a church that is focused on maintaining the status quo, inflow, and not leading their members to engage their community for the Gospel – the outflow (outreach).
As you may have guessed, the word “flow” is the major component of this article. Think of a magnet. Magnets have a natural flow (flux) that works through attraction and repulsion. I fear that some of our churches have become powerful spiritual magnets with only one pole at work. They turn up the power of attraction through their programs, music, slick media presentations, and eloquent speakers; but they have all but forgotten the other part of the flow… the Gospel infused repulsion back into the community. Now, before you get all riled up and huffy, I am not condemning quality programs, moving music, appropriate media presentations, or spirit filled speakers. Heavens no! Yet, if you are stuck in a place in your heart (mind) where all you do is plot and plan for the “next big thing” without adequately equipping and leading your flock to flow back out into the community with a spiritual mandate – well – something’s wrong. Something is broken or malfunctioning. One pole of the magnet is not doing its job.
Now, let me say that I am sure that most spiritual leaders have seasons of ministry when it seems like they are trying to empty an ocean of problems with a teaspoon. There is never enough time in the day to address all the things they feel are important. Life gets overwhelming sometimes, even for preachers, pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and all who are called to spiritual service. With that said, this does not relieve us from the important task of reaching the world for Jesus. Oh, and it was Jesus who gave us that task. So, if you are struggling with the reality that the work of the Gospel requires balance with the flow of people in and then their purposeful flow out of your church doors, pray and read these verses of scripture again. Strive for “status flow,” rather than status quo.
1 Chronicles 16:24; Psalm 96:3; Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; Acts 5:42; Acts 10:20; Acts 13:2-3
As you look at these verses, you will quickly get the major theme, which is… to go or going or being sent and I ask you to REALLY focus on these verses from Acts 5:
This paints an awesome picture for us and provides a model for outreach. It portrays a twofold thrust of sharing Jesus. The temple can represent the church and the “house to house” part speaks for itself. The deeper story lies in the fact that the disciples had just been beaten and threatened to not continue preaching about Jesus. The recognized religious leaders of the day did this to them, but they did not stop the flow of the Gospel… into the temple, then back out to the community – house to house. As I wrap up this article, I pray that you sense the intent of my heart as it flows through words on a digital page. I love the Church and the individual congregations that make up her churches. Yet, the days are hastening on and the return of Christ may be imminent, so we need to get busier outside the walls of our churches for the sake of the Gospel… for the sake of the lost. Amen.