Mark Setch has recently wrote an article titled, "The War on Fullness: Confronting the Powers that Inhibit the Fullness of Christ in the World". I find this particular article interesting and illuminating to read on the pitfalls of the "institutional mentality" which one may hold to, regardless of the expressions of ekklesiology or traditions one is in.
Do remember it is not question of whether organization (noun) or organizing (verb) is inherently good or bad. That can be taken as a separate issue. The real issue is a heart question and also one that is close to the core of long term discipleship under Jesus. It is essentially as basic as asking "Who is our Lord"?
And so I hope you will give some time and thoughts to the issue raised. May we all walk in the freshness of the Spirit as we journey Christ-ward.
Below are some excerpts from the article:
Veteran charismatic renewal leader Bob Mumford has written a very insightful booklet titled Dr Frankenstein and World Systems. This intriguing title arises from a powerful analogy. We are probably familiar with Mary Shelley’s novel about Dr Frankenstein, who created a human being from various stolen body parts. He brings the created being to life by shooting electricity into it. The creature awakens, slides off the table and begins to walk and talk. The creature is initially gentle and innocent, but it then takes on a life of its own, and becomes a destructive terror. What Frankenstein created he could not control.
Mumford states that whenever an organisation departs from its created intent, it becomes a ruling force or authority:
"This force takes on, assumes, or is given power and authority that was not originally intended. The persona, i.e., the corporation or corpus, begins to exhibit coercion and tyranny. With some discernment, it can now be seen as a spiritual force, injuring and using people. Our attempts to avoid responsibility and employ self-justification when we see the system injure and control and enhanced by excusing negative behaviour with such statements as, "well, you can’t fight city hall" or "This is just the way it is done here." The system not only condones wrong actions, in some cases it encourages them for the strengthening of the authority & influence of the entity. This happens not only in secular organisations but also in churches and ministries around the world."
Let’s consider the example of Bob Mumford’s own ministry – the parallels will then become obvious. He says:
"Lifechangers, as an organisation, was created in 1972. My intentions were godly and the declared purpose was to see significant teaching material translated and distributed to a minimum of twenty-five nations. Eventually it took on a life of its own. I found myself labouring long and hard to keep it alive. Expenses were paid out of my own pocket so it would continue to operate. Because I was serving it, I had to get others to serve it as well. One day I realised that it had taken on a life of its own. It (like Frankenstein’s creature) had slid off of the table and stood up, looked me square in the face and said, "I am Lifechangers, you must do what I want." When I looked at what it had become in the light of a ruling force I thought, "Lifechangers is either going to come under His kingdom and live for God or die." I stopped sending out appeals for money and minimised travel. Then, it seemed, the very life of the Lord started to breathe upon me and the organisation. We are now free from having to serve it. The system died and Lifechangers lives to serve God’s purposes!"
The download link for the article is here: