One of the things I think we’ve done wrong as the Church, is that we’ve tried to be in control. By that, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t lead. What I mean is, we’ve tried to control it organizationally.

Jesus told us that He would build the Church.

We’ve tried to build it.

It’s fascinating to me that the God of the universe, in the flesh and blood body of Jesus, after He had done the most monumental thing in human history, left it all to—eleven guys. No organization. Just eleven men that He had taught and then empowered with the Holy Spirit. Eleven individuals who really hadn’t “gotten it” yet. Somehow, this amazingly intelligent God—remember, He created this amazing world and everything in it—thought this was sufficient.

And consider Paul. How did the church grow through His ministry? To sum it up, it was all about relationships. Was it perfect? No. It was messy from the beginning. But it was how God purposed to do it.

Here’s one example, from the book of Acts. Paul has returned to Jerusalem after his missionary journeys. He met with the elders there, where he told them “one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.” The response of these elders? “And when they heard it, they glorified God.” How would we respond today? Yes, we would also glorify God. And then we would ask Paul how he did it and try to replicate it, using our organizational skills. They didn’t do this. Their concern for the believers was theological—did the believers know the truth about Jesus—and cultural—what the Gentile believers could do to keep unity in the Church because of its Jewish roots.

The account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch is another example. Philip shares the gospel with him. Then, miraculously, Philip is taken away by the power of God. The eunuch heads back to Ethiopia. By himself. The church started there. I can’t imagine that God could have made a more emphatic point. Philip was not allowed to go with this man. That makes some of us a bit itchy.

We’ve done the best we knew how with “doing church.” But my opinion is that God has attached the wires to the ignition device and is slowly pushing the plunger. He’s going to blow this whole thing up.