[anzac] "Our Church in the NEIGHBORHOOD"

Message: < previous - next > : Reply : Subscribe : Cleanse
Home   : June 2004 : Group Archive : Group : All Groups

From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 10:57:52 -0500
Date sent:      Wed, 23 Jun 2004 10:03:43 -0400 (EDT)
From:           "Wayne Harmon" <wayne5274@...>

Thank you for these articles regarding what I call The Organism 
vs. The Organization. The Holy Spirit led my family out of the 
organization thirteen months ago this week. To our initial surprise, 
He has not told us to seek out another organization in which to 
"fellowship". We experimented for a time with a "home church", 
but soon discovered that we were just dabbling with another old,
but smaller, wineskin.

So what's going on, Lord? I mean, I've been "in church" for 50 
years. Only the "heathen" don't go to church. Yet, we found no 
peace until we submitted to Him and stopped looking for a way 
to "do church". 

Shortly after we had left the organization, my wife and I were having 
a casual visit with a couple of our neighbors up the street from us. 
The lady who lived next door dropped by after work. It was one of 
those visits where she just walked in without knocking or ringing 
the doorbell. We were introduced to her, and began the small talk 
that is part of the getting-acquainted ritual. 

This lady had the saddest, emptiest eyes of anyone I've ever met. 
As the small talk grew into bigger talk, we learned that she was 
preparing to leave her abusive husband. Here was a very attractive,
intelligent, well-educated woman in her mid-forties who had finally 
had enough of her twenty-five year marriage to an unloving, abusive,
controlling man. As she talked, the Lord told me to stay quiet and to learn.

As my wife and I were walking back to our house, the Lord began 
to speak to us as we talked about this lady we had just met. He 
showed us that had we still been in the organization, we would 
have felt compelled to invite her to attend church with us on 
Sunday morning. That's what we were taught to do in the 
organization. If someone has a need (other than financial) then 
the solution is to "get them in church". (If they have a financial 
need, the solution is to get a job, or second job, or a third job; 
just so long as the organization gets ten percent of the take.)

Then we began to imagine what would have happened if we had 
taken this lady to the church we had just left. Here she is, full of 
pain and bitterness, seeking answers to her problems. She goes 
into a huge room filled with hundreds of strangers. She stands 
for forty-five minutes listening to songs she doesn't know. She 
listens to announcements that have nothing to do with her. She 
feels obligated to pay an admission fee as the offering bag is 
handed to her. Then she has to sit for another thirty to forty-five 
minutes while some man talks about how the people listening to 
him can help him build his empire... Thank God we kept quiet, 
and thank Him that we didn't have an organization to which to invite her.

That is the evening the Lord told us that our "church" is our 
neighborhood. Since then, we have had great ministry opportunities 
with our neighbors. They know that we are Christians, yet they 
don't feel like they have to act differently around us. They are real 
with us, and we with them. They have begun to ask us hard 
questions, and the Holy Spirit always gives us His answers. 

A few days ago as I was going to work, I saw one of our neighbors 
walking his dog. I stopped to say good morning, and he returned 
the greeting. As I drove away, the Holy Spirit said, "He is part of 
your church. You are his pastor'." I asked the Lord how I could be 
considered to be this man's pastor"? He answered, "By interceding 
for him...."
***********************