and to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery…the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the Church to the principalities and power in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:9,10
For a long time I have longed for corporate gatherings to become, well, more corporate. Too often the room is filled with an individual mentality, the songs are in the first person, the message is usually given by the same individual to address individual needs, and the ministry time is also individual in focus. I’ve come to the point where this religious meeting isn’t Church in the true biblical sense.
For years, the majority songs at many churches have been sung in the first person; “I love you, Lord” type of songs. Several years ago I began to change the pronoun in the songs and pray for people around me, “He’d, love you, Lord”. More recently instead of praying for someone, I have been identifying with and joining with others and praying / worshiping as one.
“We’d love you, Lord” or “We love you, Lord”
There has also been a tendency to personalizing promises that can only be fulfilled corporately. We automatically change the we to me. As long as our primary way of relating to God is one on one, we are missing the fullness of the blessing. I am not trying to do away with the individual, but to come to maturity. Individual’s need to get saved, individual’s need to grow and mature, but all along the way deny ourselves and become part of something beyond self absorption.
There is a transition taking place in the body of Christ from an almost exclusive emphasis on the individual to a corporate vision. Our salvation message has been about a “personal savior”, our emphasis has on a personal quiet time, our songs have frequently been in the first person (I love your Lord), our preaching and ministry has been to individual needs, and our pulpits are dominated by one individual. We have had a competitive small business model and mentality. The ministry is made up of a president pastor, a VP assistant pastor, a staff, with the congregation seen as customers and audience. There are barriers that customers are not allowed to cross. As long as this structure is in place Ephesians 2:21-22 cannot occur.
The whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.
It’s is my hope the post on this blog will lay out clearly the Biblical emphasis of we and us and the tremendous blessing that will result when every part does it’s share.