Doing Church Outside The Box?

by Cliff Ravenscraft on October 14, 2005

in Blog

I recently received an article via email that talked about applying the concept of thinking outside of the box in the context of Sales. However, as I read the article, I was immediately drawn to thoughts of the way we “do church.” Do we ever think about Church outside of the box? Do we tend to think God only works within the church buildings, sunday school classes, or yes, even cell groups? Here's a bit from the article to chew on…

Youth and Creativity
In one series of I.Q. tests given to children ages 2 – 4 years, 95% of the children were found to be highly creative with curious, questioning minds and an ability for abstract thinking.
When the same children were tested again at age 7, only 5% still demonstrated high levels of creativity. In the ensuing years, they had learned to conform; “If you want to get along, you had better go along,” is what they had discovered.
The Dangers of Conformity
They had learned to color between the lines, to sit in neat little rows, to do and say what the other kids did and said, and to do as they were told. Over time, they lost the wonderful fearless spontaneity of youth and learned to suppress ideas and insights that were unusual or different.

Is it me, or did I begin to loose some of my original ZEAL for the lost, my desire to “GO OUT AND WIN THE WORLD FOR CHRIST” when I was taught to sit in the church building, to get involved in the ministries that all the other members were involved in, and started to do as I was told by the church leadership? Could the structure of the traditional church be contributing to the loss of the fearless spontaneity of our new birth in Christ. Does the structure of the church suppress idea and insights that are unusual or different?
I'm not blasting any specific church here. I ask this question even of the cell church model that I believe so strongly in? As I read this, I thought of how careful we must be to avoid squashing the creative thinking that flows from the Holy Spirit in reaching the lost world for Christ. Too often I try to put God in a box. Heck, even I'm learning that I've been trying to put god in a box called “cell church.” Don't think for a second that I've lost any passion for cells or that I don't still believe that the cell church model is the most effective structure for the church in accomplishing the task of transformational discipleship.
However, even I have been guilty of not thinking outside of the box of cells. This is an area that God is speaking to me. God is bigger than the cell church model. He's bigger than our church buildings with all it's ministry programs. I believe that God desires not to be held in any type of box or within any walls.
How can we think about ministry to the lost outside of the box of our church facility, our cell groups, etc? Are we so conformed to reaching the lost teh way we've alwasy done it? Are we open to new ideas? Are we willing to change?
Just thoughts that I've been pondering.

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