These are the words God whispered, but that literally thundered in our hearts as we were on our way to Pasadena, California to attend a conference on the Post-denominational Church. There were six of us, "ministry leaders" on a quest that none of us understood that day but now, a dozen years later, it is coming clearly into view.

Much has been written in the past few years as Christian thinkers and prophets have considered the great, earth-shaking changes that are coming to the church structure worldwide. Words such as "deconstruction," "reformation" "revolution" and "paradigm shift" have been used to attempt to describe what many in the body of Christ have sensed and felt.

While in Cairo, Egypt in 1982, God gave Mike Bickle a prophetic word and Bickle declared: "God is going to change the forms and expressions of church within one generation to the degree that it will not be recognizable any more." 

As I've journeyed to understand what God is doing in our times, I've examined over and over the concepts of what the church was actually intended by God to be as opposed to the thing we have made it throughout history and in our own generation. I've discovered that much of what we call "church" is the product of our convenience, culture and tradition, but not the result of hearing and obeying the directives of God.

Mine is not merely a desperate response to a post-Christian society. I believe that God is pro-actively leading His church into a form in keeping with Abraham's faith: "for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Heb.11:10) .

I have witnessed a "holy frustration" and a sometimes not so quiet expectancy that is filling the hearts of Christian people in America and in Europe. I've received a mountain of emails from every continent of the globe testifying of the many who are hearing the same things we are hearing.  Many are unable to quantify what they're feeling. Some are fearful of speaking out what they sense, but most echo the same sentiment: The church, as it is must go. It's as though God's pillar of fire by night and His cloud by day have moved, but the church has not moved with Him. Our old forms have caused us to become increasingly irrelevant to a rapidly changing world around us. And while our belief systems never change, and while we continue to hold to the same truths the Christ and the apostles have given us, our methods of reaching out to our generation must always be available for change. Our clergy-dominated, professional-focused, centralized ministry paradigms have prompted thinking (and hurting) people to walk away from our temples in droves. Churches that should be growing radically (if their self-generated PR is to be believed) are in fact shrinking. The whole concept of "denominationalism" is fading in significance. Meanwhile, society is crying out for relevancy, for truth, for help in negotiating the morass of moral questions and practical issues faced on a daily basis.

If anything you've read here seems to resonate with you - welcome to the (growing) family! You are not alone and you are not (necessarily) strange. God is at work in us personally and in His church corporately wrestling away our comfortable conventions so that He can replace them with a Living, Breathing, Life-Giving Church that will shine His light into the lives of men everywhere.

The One Who promised, "I will build My church..." is at work fulfilling His promise.


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