What tactics should the Church be using to win the hearts and minds of men?
The Church should be conducting guerilla warfare. Ours is a subversive, revolutionary movement; a Resistance; a Fifth Column. We are “in the world, but not of the world”: we operate within the Enemy’s territory, though we owe him no allegiance.
Neighborhoods and schools, streets and office buildings are our battleground. Why do we waste our resources by building or renting churchy edifices? By doing so, we are adopting the Enemy’s approach (remember the Tower of Babel?). Jesus had little use for such “religious” buildings.
Successful revolutions are built on networks of cell groups. The more intra-committed and inter-coordinated the groups, the stronger the movement. Many churches espouse cell groups –but these are not of revolutionary caliber, for a number of reasons.
Commitment comes from sharing: sharing of daily responsibilities, experiences, acquaintances, projects. But what is the “sharing” on which current church small groups are based? Shared church attendance – which is based in turn on shared denominational affiliation, or shared cultural or social preferences. Rarely is there any significant degree of daily sharing among church members.
Successful revolutionary movements have highly autonomous local leadership, which is at the same time responsive to the chain of command. Common purpose and ideology is passed down from above; practical leadership springs up from below. Often these movements are poor in materiel, but rich in human resources. The situation is far different in the Church. Practical leadership of small groups is usually dictated from above. Human resources are scarce, because members are frantically busy making more money than they need. Churches actually tend to encourage this misplaced emphasis, because their building programs depend on the additional income.
Many churches mouth their allegiance to the “small group” model. But where do the churches’ resources go? Not to the small groups, but to the main building. “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also”.
Unfortunately, the Third World Church, which has seen explosive growth as a revolutionary movement, is now turning to follow our wrong example. Third World Church leaders and fundraisers clamor for money to build. Gospel for Asia, for instance, which began as a training and sending organization for missionaries in India, now seeks funds to build church buildings. They have moved from developing human resources to creating large assemblies.
Copyright © 2003 CrossPollen
Last Revised: May 3, 2003
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