The Post-Modern Church: Much More Than Numbers
By Robert T. Bailey, PharmD, MD
One of the more successful post-modern Christian denominations has found a level of success by presenting Jesus with music, fashion, and concert type hype and hipster Sunday worship services to attract the post-modern intelligence driven millennials, with the ultimate goal of building a large number of converts into a franchised global movement, mostly void of the supernatural. Jesus commanded that we go forth and make disciples of men.
In a recent article published in the October 2019 issue of Charisma Magazine by Taylor Berglund entitled: The Church in Babylon Pastor John Mark Comer provides the reader with some of the shortcomings of the mega church approach and many keys to having a more effective Post-Modern Church. These keys emphasize biblical orthodoxy and the supernatural and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which go missing and get lost in many of the megachurches that emphasize numbers and programs and cultural relevance rather than be counter cultural.
A post-modern mega church cannot be culturally relevant when the Biblical life in Christ is by nature countercultural. This is why when one of their leaders is given a national platform on a popular TV program to speak the Biblical view of abortion, he is unable to give an absolute moral Biblical answer. Jesus spoke in the Bible that He was an offense to the world system and culture and would be a stumbling block to those who are perishing. A rock of offense.
Pastor Comer offers the following list of key features of an effective Biblically-based Post-Modern Church. 1. He states: stop doing so much. Slow down and dwell with God. He states we are churning people up emotionally while spiritual life is dying on the vine. 2. He states: focus on radical discipleship with faith rooted in spiritual disciplines, no cultural Christianity. These disciplines involve prayer, scriptural meditation, life in community and Sabbath, and silence and solitude. He emphasizes small groups over Sunday services or any other church programs. The church must never bow to the broader culture. We are to live as an alternative society of heaven on earth. 3. He states: Pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit including speaking in tongues as an emphasis for church leadership. Comer points out it’s hard to argue people into the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, it is really hard to argue with a healing or a prophetic word, or show of love and forgiveness and hospitality. 4. The younger generation needs the wisdom and blessing of mature believers. He points out that a lot of churches are turning over leadership and loosing mature believers from their congregations.
Only time will tell if the currently hip and trendy global mega churches will go the distance, but my thought if the church is not built on the whole gospel, the whole Bible, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the supernatural, it may not pass the test of time. A church primarily built on numbers and focused only on the younger generation rather a multi-generational approach, and without the supernatural and the prophetic release of the younger generation into their individual call and destiny by mature spiritual fathers and mothers, will not achieve their God given call. We must stand on the shoulders of all those that have gone before us and laid brick upon brick on the spiritual foundation of the Church, with Christ Jesus our corner stone.
The effective Post-Modern Church must slow down, pare down, be distinctly counter -cultural, multigeneration, emphasize small groups (or home churches) over the large corporate gathering and programs. The Post-Modern church needs discipline, community, hospitality, and be Biblically literate and flowing in all 9 gifts of the Spirit, moving in the power of the Spirit, emphasizing the supernatural, bringing Heaven to Earth.