I have been thinking recently that most models that are out there in the Christian world are myths. Hear me out on this one.
I think that some guy prays a lot, gets deep and serious about reaching people, and is then inspired by God with a way of reaching those specific people and he follows through with that idea under the leading of the Holy Spirit and in the end is successful. His success then becomes trumpeted through out the Christian world, rightly so because it encourages and inspires us all, he then writes a book on the subject and at this point people start to try and do what he has done and a model is created. We hear people within churches saying “we are using the willow creek model, the purpose driven model, the cell model, the G12 model, the hillsongs model, etc..”
Basically someone kind of stumbled along under the prompting of the Holy Spirit leading a responsive lifestyle and his God given gifts and was successful (note success in the Christian world so often means numbers!) THEN WE GET THE BOOK!!!
Now I am not totally knocking the books, we can gain a lot of wisdom from them and some very good principles, for instance Risk Warren says “if we concentrate on making something healthy it will grow, concentrate on health not growth” I like that a lot, he also talks about being “committed at the core and open at the edges” I like that also.
I just get this feeling that our willingness to run to models instead of God might frustrate him, we can spend endless amounts of money going to various conferences and purchasing various resources. May be a week away with our teams and just Bibles in a restful environment would give us more clarity as to the way forward. That to me would be worth investing in.
I think models, books and conferences can make for lazy christians.
Does this Model idea work itself out in scripture I don’t think so, did Joshua cross Jordan the same way that Moses crossed the red sea? Did the children of Israel take all the towns and cities in the Promised Land the same way that they took Jericho? Did Jesus have one prescribed way for healing the sick? Did Paul use the same methods to plant churches in all the different cities he went to?
The early church was formed by a group of people stumbling out into the market place under the power of the spirit and proceeding from there. It wasn’t a model but a lifestyle of responsiveness to an adventurous God.
Does that make sense?