Chaos in the Kingdom

Well, bad things are brewing one town over. Antwerp rests right between Hicksville and Payne. Both towns are about a 10 minute drive from one another, so they are rather close and news spreads quickly.

The Church of Christ in Payne hired a recent Great Lakes Christian College Graduate who came in and began to reform the church. The problem rose up when the reforming only happened on Sunday night where he implemented a full-blown modern day worship service. Then, for some reason that remains unknown to me one and a half towns away, the Sunday night service announced they were branching out on their own to start their own church called Living Waters. Soon after that, the Church of Christ asked the minister to leave. This is all public information around here, so I really don't feel I am gossiping.

Why do I bring this up? Because it brings up an interesting issue that has been mulling around in my head lately, and I would love to hear what others think about it. Can a church be reformed without the leadership being reformed? Or is that always a formula for trouble?

And there is another side to the issue. If a minister feels a vision on his heart for what the kingdom should be like, should he try to reform a church or should he just go and plant a church? Is that just up to the individual and their feel of what the will of God is? It seems like many church splits are a result of ministers who are hired from the outside and come in trying to implement what they feel the kingdom of God should be rather than serving the church they are ministering to in the way they are expected to serve.

I personally feel that it is unhealthy to try to make a church do what they don't want to do. If I ever go back into the paid ministry, I would explain what I think the kingdom of God should be like and what needs to be changed, if anything, in that particular church. Then the church would have the option to accept that or choose someone else. I don't want to get into a church and then be in the position of trying to convince them to go in the direction I feel they should go. That seems to usually result in manipulation and ill feelings. I want to be involved in a group heading in the direction God wants them to go with all the people being open to the guiding of the Spirit of God.

Anyway, a few things are really brewing in my head. Should I apply to be a non-paid or lightly-paid minister of the church I attend? They are in an extreme financial crunch, so it would relieve them of the burden of paying a full-time minister. The financial situation prevents them from being loving like the church should be.

Everything in the Nazarene denomenation has to go through the district office, so if the heads of our district didn't think it was a good idea it would never be brought to the church. In my mind, it would be like it never happened if the district didn't think I fit. The thing is that I know the people that go to my church have great hearts and want to do the right things as a church and as individuals, but I don't think they have ever been taught how. If you happen to read this and you're from my church, just ignore it. This never happened (I use my jedi hand trick on you.)

I've also been debating about approaching them about a house church idea in which I would plant a Nazarence house church in Defiance rather than one on my own.

Also, I am debating on whether to approach the Payne Chruch of Christ at pulpit filling for the meanwhile. So I guess I could use a lot of prayer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Watch out for the potholes.