However, I sense that many who have become butterflies do not fully know how to use their wings. There could be a host of people who are no longer caterpillars, whose wings are full of life, yet continue to walk because, for a variety of reasons, they are not ready to embrace the purposes God has called them to in their freedom. They are the walking butterflies.
Just a thought.
Here are some possible reasons why people may not yet be flying.
1. Some are still looking for another butterfly to hand them the external model for ‘how to do church.’ We are so accustomed to others showing us ‘the way’ that we continue looking for the ‘simple church manual’ or the ‘organic church step-chart’ that will give us the exact system to follow. In other words, some are not ready to trust that Jesus can speak to and lead them personally without someone else’s blueprint.
2. Some do not trust that God can help them connect with their unique destiny and Kingdom purpose. Or, perhaps more to the point, some are not willing to take the risk to step out into their own special Kingdom purpose and destiny. It’s just easier to lose themselves in lesser focuses.
3. Some still devalue themselves and/or their calling as being less significant than that of others.
4. Some avoid the silence and have not taken the time to seek God deeply in those quiet places where He can speak profoundly to them and give them the confidence as well as direction needed to move out and fly.
By the way, butterflies that never fly, never reproduce. Maybe as we all find ourselves and our courage, we will see a whole new generation of butterflies begin to emerge!
Brooks does a wonderful job of describing the changed lives of women in Burundi. These stories are the direct result of the church moving outside of the walls of church life and meeting people in the hard places of real struggles.
We are still traveling in Africa and this is from our travel blog:
Read more here.
Guy Muse has an excellent article on "What does Scripture actually say about the church, the Bride of Christ?"
As I am currently traveling in Africa, I am relying on other bloggers and writers to share their insights with you.
My friend at Life Beyond the Walls has written an excellent post that suggests legacy churches (institutional churches) are like a life-support machine: they are sometimes helpful but not if you stay plugged in too long.
A couple of quotes:
Without bashing any form of church, Patrick goes on to describe how our institutionalized way of viewing church often limits the fullness that we are meant to walk in. For example:
Read Patrick's entire post here.
Several years ago, at a Verge conference, Alan Hirsch said: "Every believer is a church planter; and every church is a church planting church."
Now, let me say, that this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever… unless you have a Biblical understanding of the organic nature of church.
As long as we think of church as a meeting, a place, or an organized something, we will continually discount ourselves and others from being ‘church planters.’ But when we see that the church is a natural, organic expression of believers, who are connected to Jesus, expressing Him with others in a wide variety of ways, then we can begin to understand that Alan does speak the truth.
The church (we) initiates new sprouts (planting) every time we initiate anything spiritual among any group of people, friends, or colleagues whether reached or lost or anything in between. In fact, isn’t this what the church does? We plant seeds of life into the lives of others. This may be informal or formal. It may start informal and become more formal. It may start formal and become informal. Whatever it looks like, the church (God’s people) continually plants seeds of Kingdom word and actions into the lives of others. That is, simply, who we are.
I believe, to see this in our lives more clearly, we can do five things:
1. Keep Jesus as our Source and Guide. Sure, we can learn from others and need to, but organic life, by definition, flows out of our organic connection with Jesus Himself.
2. Recognize that each of us plants seeds differently. We need to honor who we are and the spiritual gifts God has given to each of us. Some evangelize with their words, others show much compassion with their actions and by their love. Some initiate things among larger groups of people, others with just one other individual. Some of us are comfortable among youth, others among immigrants, etc. Some of us are passionate about sowing among the least reached, others feel drawn to heal and mature existing believers. I could go on and on. The point is that the organic expression of ‘church’ is meant to take many different forms and have many different looks as each believer and group of believers takes the initiative to be seed planters in his/her own way.
3. Get better at it. Whichever way God uses us to plant seeds into the lives of others, we can grow into better farmers. Learn from others, hone your skills and tools, and improve your work. This does not mean that the goal is, necessarily, bigger and more impressive. It may be just the one that we are called to at this time. Great! Plant well and seek fruitfulness!
4. Build relationships around living out a divine connection with Jesus. It’s not a formula, it’s a lifestyle you have developed that keeps you connected to Him, to His voice, and to His power. You share this with others and help them experience this same connection. This is called discipleship. And when you gather together, in whatever setting, to experience God, this is called a church gathering.
5. Finally, organic life reproduces itself. However it is we are called to plant into the lives of friends, family, neighbors, other groups in other places—whatever it is we are doing—always invite those we touch to do the same. In other words, whatever you do, reproduce yourself. Thus ‘organic’ remains ‘alive.’
In short, plant Jesus your way, and help those you plant seeds in to do the same.