Let’s get beyond the “holy huddle” mentality!
What would you think of a football team, let’s say a super team, an unbeatable dream team made up of the best of the best, both offensively and defensively, who never breaks from the huddle and actually lines up to play the game? Oh they spend week after week on the practice field. They line up time after time against one another in practice. They argue and fuss and kiss up to the coaches so they can play the position they want. But when it comes to the real game where they must take on a Goliath of an opponent, they walk on to the field, but never once break the huddle and actually take on their opponent.
That’s the picture of far to much of the church today. We think by simply having “service” we are the church of Matthew 16:18. Not so. The church of Matthew 16:18 is a church which takes on the gates of hell on its own (hell’s) playing field. Instead of this, we have become satisfied with good practice (church services) times on our own turf. And, then when we do venture out into the enemy’s territory, we do nothing but talk about how good our holy huddle was and what a good practice time we had.
I believe the church in the kingdom should have an entirely different mentality than just having good (even great) holy huddles. To even begin to understand what I am wanting to convey to you, you must do two things:
- Let the Kingdom be bigger than the church.
- Let the church be bigger than the four walls of your sanctuary.
Let the Kingdom be bigger than the Church
Let me say this as carefully as I can, “The Church is not the kingdom.” (Well I tried to soften it up.) The Kingdom of God is the totality of God’s creation. When Jesus said the kingdom was coming, He meant the kingdom rule was being reestablished over that which was already His! The psalmist said the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness there of. Everything you and I can see plus what we can’t see is in the kingdom. I didn’t say everyone is saved nor will be. I didn’t say everything was sanctified or that it would be. I didn’t say everything and everyone was bowing the knee to Jesus now…But one day they will whether they are headed to heaven or hell, everyone will bow to the King in and under His Kingdom rule. His kingdom rule over everything and everyone will come to pass. (Oh I feel those Holy Spirit goose bumps with a shout coming on!!!!)
What I am saying is everything belongs to God’s kingdom, it’s all just not in submission yet. Why? Because the church has yet to realize her full potential as a kingdom instrument in the hands of God. You see when you think you’re all of it, you seek to be nothing more. And because of this the larger kingdom suffers. As long as we think the holy huddle is our entire purpose, as long as we are more concerned about “our kingdom” than God’s, heaven weeps.
In saying this I am not taking anything away from the Church and what her privileged position is before God and all of heaven. Neither am I taking away anything from the corporate worship, Word and ministry which takes place in the house. All I am saying is she is far more than what our traditions have allowed yet, she is still an instrument of the Lord in the kingdom, not the kingdom itself.
Let the Church be bigger than the four walls of your church.
I’m not simply speaking of outreach and ministries as such. (Even though some churches don’t even do much of that!) Kingdom ministry is to be more than “religious” in nature. It’s to be governmental in order and authority upon the earth. The whole context of Matthew 16:18 is in this context! The “gates of hell” simply mean the evil ruling authorities and powers around the earth. The wicked authorities are not cast down if we don’t infiltrate them and bring them down with the authority God has given us! We must, as God’s people, take back what rightfully belongs to us. The enemy thinks they own the land but the truth is they are on our turf. (Has anyone read the book of Joshua lately!!!!) We have home field advantage, we just don’t realize it and the devil doesn’t want you knowing it! We can’t take down the ruling powers by staying within our holy huddles.
The Church of Ephesus became so powerful in her authority that she turned the whole governmental, religious, and economic base of the city upside down. (cc Acts 19) The City was thrown into chaos for the good…the Kingdom rule of God had come through that kingdom operating church. They didn’t do it with chicken dinners and bake sales. They didn’t do it by hiding behind the walls of some church building. They did it by intentionally and actively infiltrating their environment.
…I will continue this in the next blog. But for practical understanding let me ask you a question or two: How do you think the Muslim community has taken over Europe? How do you think Mormon’s have become one of the richest and most powerful cults in the world? How do you think the homosexual community, which most statistics say make up only about 3% of our population, has such popularity and political voice today? It’s because they all have affectively infiltrated society. They encourage their people to become community activist. They encourage their people to start major businesses with the sole purpose of giving back into their movements. They disciple their people to become community and civic leaders at every level of government. All the while we sanctified saints have our holy huddles, eat some chicken and have bake sales so we can do something else for our personal holy huddle. I tell you heaven weeps because the sons of the devil are acting wiser than the sons and daughters of God.