Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Backwards Church

What if we were to decide to do church backward? What if we were to do first the things we now do last? How would that look?

In the last 3 years as I spent most of my days in deep study of Gods word, He began to take me on a journey with Him. As my Lord wooed me each day, I fell deeper and deeper in love with Him. As I came to Him each day I only hungered for more. For more of His word and more of His touch. I would pray each day for a deeper knowledge of and wisdom from Him. In turn, He gave me a desire to work for Him and a deeper love for His children.

As my wisdom grew, so also did my dismay. For now I began to see how we served Him not through my eyes but through His. My heart became saddened as I can only assume His was. What I saw was a church that had gotten things all turned around and was doing things backwards. They would take there blessings upfront and build themselves a beautiful temple to house their God. Then move in and begin to play church.

It seems like today what traditionally happens when a group of believers get together to start a church the first order of business is Sunday worship service. Then we begin to build off that; discipleship programs, bible studies, Sunday school, programs for the children, etc. We collect enough money for a down payment and build ourselves a beautiful building to house us all. Then at the end we throw in a few service oriented things to give those that want a place to serve the needy and hurting something small to do. We have a few evangelism events; maybe adopt some families at Christmas and do an annual mission trip. Just enough to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Enough to satisfy the requirements the bible gives us. Or is it really enough?

I began to think..... What if we were to do things differently..... What if we did church backwards......

What if we began to build the church in the reverse? What if we were to gather a body of believers to get together and start a church and the first order of business was prayer. Then to share the good news of the gospel, feed those who were hungry and to meet the needs of those around us in our communities. What if every step was bathed in prayer and our main encounters were to give not get? What if the church was really a hospital for the hurting world around us? What if bible study, discipleship and worship were just an outcome of the services the church was built on. What if we did church as missionaries right where we are.

We could be the house that God built personally and as a church. We would be changed as we served and the importance of a building and our surroundings would become inconsequential. We would begin to focus our energies on what we can do for those in need, for reaching the lost and leave our physical needs for ourselves and our ministry in the capable hands of God. We would begin to just walk in faith in His provision and not our own.

What would our communities look like if we did church backwards? Who might we reach for Jesus? Can you see the picture in your mind that I see?

I believe this kind of church could be what people need. A place for an unsaved world to find mercy in the arms of a Savior.

It starts with us, living our own lives backwards. It starts with a life of prayer, love and sacrifice. It starts with a change in us, a change of the heart.


Ben said...

It all should start with deeper study of God's words, then and only then will we understand what matters to God most and what matters more to us than to him. I get what you are saying... We are guilty of taking care of us rather than letting God take care of us. Hope you had a nice christmas.

Robin said...

Amen, Amen, Amen!! This is Very Much my heart these days. Being hurt by the church, trying to do ministry that won't work, ect.. ect... Many times I've learned of the economy of God and how it is backwards from how we live. We need to live like Jesus, Love God, Love People, Live surrendered, just as He did when He was on earth. These 3 things are core mission at my church. As I strive to know Him more, I regualarly pray for the church to start acting like the church Jesus wants us to truely be. God bless you!

nAncY said...

i think you hit the nail on the head when you said it all starts with us in living the change that is taking place within us.

and might i add, keeping our eyes set on Jesus.

Daniel C. Wilson said...

In the past month, as the Lord has brought me through several things and unveiled my eyes to see more clearly than before, I find myself with a discontentment with the religious game we play now. My last blog post, written minutes before reading your post, was an attempt to communicate some of that longing for more than the way things are now (though not explain the why's and how's what brought me to that cry).
I agree with you, I do not think we have the order of operations right in the church...

Peter P said...


You are one of many thousands of people who the Holy Spirit is speaking to and calling to break out of the traditional church structure.

He is calling us to stop doing Church and start BEING the Church.

That's why we planted a house church and that's why many people are breaking out of the mold and doing something new under God's guidance.

It's exciting, isn't it!?!

Red Letter Believers said...

I really like this thought. It would change everything.

What if Jesus himself were at that first meeting .... much as he was at the first meeting after the resurrection.

Nice blog!


Red Letter Believers said...

The more i see of this blog, the more I like it.

Added you to our blogroll at

Sherri Watt said...

Thanks everyone!! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and will start the New Year as Peter P said... Lets BE the church!

God Bless!

Joel Spencer said...

If "backwards" is according to the Spirit and all benefitting the Kingdom, then count me in.