The Life Cycle of the average Church?

Where in the cycle do you see yourself, or your church?

I have found in my studies that we (churches, though this formula also holds true in organizations, even cults) tend to follow the same pattern. A pattern that God desires to break us out of:

1) The Revelation/Impartation
It begins with a life changing encounter with God, or a vision imparted.
2) The Sharing/Telling
The sharing of the vision then begins.
Whether it be preaching, or in song, or however, the dissemination of the message begins
3) The Gathering
The anointing of God, the lure of the vision, and the charisma/integrity of the visionary begins to draw people.
Those who have caught the vision now begin to meet together,
praying/praising/worshipping... It is the upper room time, leading up to the day of Pentecost
4) The Institutionalization
Gradually, we come to believe that a certain formalization of the
organization is necessary. We then set about the task of 'building' the church/movement
5) The Ritualization
We do the things that God showed us that day, practice the things that we believe were the catalyst for the initial
encounter, or practice the formula handed down by the visionary.
6) The Stagnation
We stop hearing from God, but do not notice because the ritual and the leader have become the object of attention. The Holy Spirit departs, and few even notice.
7) The Revolution
The new generation rises up, dissatisfied with the status quo, the "we've always done it this way" seeks God's face with the persistence of the widow who wouldn't stop asking (Luke 18:1-8), or the desperation of the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5: 25-34). God responds, taking the new generation to step one, where for them the cycle starts again
8) The Degeneration/dissolution
Having become totally engrossed in the form and ritual & no longer hearing from God, the church, no longer relevant, fades, and begins a slow death.

Have you seen this happen? I know you have, I have too. You might even be living it now...

If you are, what stage is your church at? What can you do to stop it?

I submit to you today brethren, that this need not happen. I submit to you that this should NEVER happen. It is not the will of God. I believe that in order to continue to be relevant, we must make sure that from step we go back to step 1, and repeat 1, 2, 3.

I know that there is a season to every purpose under heaven, but He is from age to age the same. Therefore, by staying close to Him, we can always move when the cloud moves, move the pillar of fire moves.

How will this happen? By the Pastors, worship leaders, etc. truly becoming Worshipping LEADERS, truly leading the flock into the presence of the Lord.
Leading because we know how to get in, because we go there regularly. By letting Him be glorified in our lives, and then glorify Him with our lives.
This will produce a level of intimacy and sensitivity to the spirit that will surpass anything that we have experienced before.

Ephesians 3
says it all:
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be
strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and
length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be
filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we
ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages,
world without end. Amen.

Imagine what 5000 people living like that could do? 5000 people who truly understood?
When will we stop building buildings, and concentrate on building altars instead?


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