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Do you think of Church as a movement?

Many people have described the trajectory of a movement as: Man – Movement – Machine – Monument – Memory.

Unless care is taken, one man’s vision can too easily slip into the mechanical processes of a machine. And while it is not necessarily a bad thing to have efficient structures or systems, they can too easily take the focus away from the vision.

The movement slows down as its purpose is no longer clear, and it eventually becomes a monument, and later a memory.

The Church must constantly be rediscovering her call, to be, and to do, all God wants, at this particular time in history. This is how we follow Jesus in the world, constantly trying to help people of all ages and backgrounds connect to God.

And since the Church is “the Body of believers” that means each of us individually must be constantly rediscovering our call to be, and to do, all God wants, at this particular time in history. That means that there must be a “line in the sand” we do not cross over.

And that line is at the point of us or the Church becoming a MACHINE.

So to explain the terms used:

Man: A man/woman with vision moves rapidly & readily as God directs – most organisations started with one person who saw a need & then did something to fulfil those needs. “Whatever it takes” is often the catch-cry.

Movement: Soon others gather around and as “many hands make (the burden of) work light” things grow and expand. Still flexible enough to adapt to change & circumstances. Some Churches are still a movement of God. “Whatever it takes” is still often the catch-cry.

Machine: What some sections of the Church have become. Well oiled and greased and going through the same motions over & over & over & over. “Don’t rock the boat” becomes the catch-cry.

Monument: “We never did it that way before” is now the catch-cry. Many in our congregations or those in authority are not willing to accept new ideas. We’ve always done “business” the same way. Like a predictable Church, we seem to be in a rut. We do the same things over and over and change the names once in a while.

If it’s not in the bulletin, we can’t do it. “Whatever it takes” is now gone completely from our vocabulary. We don’t move, we don’t change, we stay the same except for throwing on a coat of paint every now & again.

Memory: If a Church, or we ourselves, reach the MEMORY stage it is dead. Memories are nothing more than some random understanding or thoughts of past events.

When any Church starts to function as a memory – then we are in doubt of hearing: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Mat 15:23)

More likely we are going to find that: “…their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” (1Cor 3:13-15)

Or worse yet: “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev 3:16)

So what is going to happen if we don’t stay somewhere between vision (man) and movement with a little machine?

This is what is going to happen:

Revelation 3:1-6:
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
“These are the words of Him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
1. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
2. Wake up!
3. Strengthen what remains and is about to die,
4. for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.
5. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent.
6. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
7. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Remember our line in the sand?

Which side of the line are you on?

Which side do you believe our Church is on?


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3 responses to “Man – Movement – Machine – Monument – Memory”

  1. Don Bob Avatar
    Don Bob

    W A K E

    U P !

    In bold letters!


    1. admin Avatar

      Absolutely Don. In many cases the church is asleep. Some have even become monuments, and others are just functioning as a distant memory.