6/15/20 – I was going take this post down today, but I’ve decided to leave it with this note. I’m very aware, and I’m fighting against, the multitude of false teachers, false prophets, false apostles and false doctrine in churches today. It is a real and present danger. I confess to you that I have been been misled/deceived in years past and led ministry based on what I see now as false teaching. I will probably write a blog post on this. Maybe it will help others. I don’t hold myself out as a prophet or an apostle, or that have special connections to God. This is a popular lie being perpetrated today that is misleading many people. This post is my personal opinion based on what I believe I see in my spirit, first and foremost for prayer and then preparedness. I may be wrong. I’m not putting this out publicly to say “Warning! This is what for certain is coming. God told me so.” So please just read this as one man’s view/perspective and pray and discern in the coming months and years if this has any merit or value whatsoever.
August 2017 – The Guerrilla Church
The way people identify with the church of Jesus Christ is changing. The church needs to change. The church of the twenty first century, the church that’s coming, that should be coming in the next months and years will be a completely different kind of church. In order to reach people for God and particularly the younger generation, the church will need to make some changes. These are changes that are going to be very difficult, maybe even impossible for some churches. Most large, multi million dollar churches, their large multi-million dollar buildings and their commensurate budgets that serve people from miles around will fail. These changes will be forced upon us. In the coming months and years, the economic calamity coming upon this nation is going to force churches to get small and local. The church will need to be local and communal. The church will need to be nimble. The church will need to be lean. The church will be a guerrilla church. It will almost be like the underground church in China, but likely not that drastic or hidden. But it will be a guerrilla church – nimble, lean and able to make changes very quickly. And able to meet the needs of its local community and body quickly.
I see suburbs having not one main local church where people drive to, but dozens of home churches in cul-de-sacs servicing the needs of a suburb. These churches will be within walking distance of the community. People will not need to drive to get to their church and in economic hard times may not be able to drive. I can see single family homes being gutted out and made into a church and a home next to it being a care center, a health care center. And the house next to that would be a center for child care. There will be many empty homes due to the economic collapse, and these homes will be used to further strengthen the local church. God will use these homes and and make them into communal centers with the church being the center of that community. For God will take what is ugly and make it good. The church will be stronger than it’s been in 50 years. People who are not Christians will see the local church in action like never before. They will see people being cared for. They will see the power of God working through Christ Jesus in people’s lives. They will see the second Great Commandment love thy neighbor as thyself in action. People will want Christ they will want to be in communities like this. People will not be thinking about getting up one weekend day per week and driving 5, 10 and 15 miles to the local church because that won’t be available any longer. The economics will no longer allow these multi-million dollar buildings and budgets. But the thing is all the important characteristics of the Church of Christ will more active in these local churches. This will be a complete paradigm shift. Day care for children will be a community responsibility caring for one another’s children. Many hands make light work. That is what the church is going to look like. In any given month a person might be assigned to help in the day care home, a person might be assigned to help in the food bank home, a person might be assigned to assist in the health care home, a person might be assigned to assist in church services. Old people will live in families, blood family or not, and cared for by the whole neighborhood. And children will grow up in this environment. And because everything is within walking distance these facilities will be part of the community. They won’t be some far off distant location that’s out of sight out and out of mind. When one walks to the church, he walks past the health care center. When one walks to the church he walks past the elderly care center. When one walks the church he walks past the food bank.
Part of the curse on the church in America is out of sight out of mind. Currently we have to be informed through brochures, social media, emails or announcements from a church pulpit. A neighborhood church a mile away from another church may have completely different needs in that community. And those particular needs can be met within that community more effectively. There will not be competition between local neighborhood churches. There will be sharing of ideas. If you use your imagination, you can see how the guerrilla church can be wildly effective, efficient of resources, and prosperous. There will be many people in neighborhoods who are out of work. Requiring these families to travel many miles to a church will not be conducive or effective. The church will need to be “in the midst”. Not miles away. I believe now is the time for the 21st century church in America to take this seriously. What is coming to America and the rest of the world economically cannot be stopped. Eventually, the laws of nature, particularly mathematics, will overcome the insurmountable government and personal debt and market manipulations. It is better that the church be proactive and not reactive. We have the Holy Spirit. We can ask for wisdom and discernment. We can ask for insight. The question is, will we listen. Since the 1970s, the church paradigm has been large buildings servicing large areas of people, with many of these expensive church buildings in the same communities. That paradigm will change. The church should be ready to respond. We should not be caught off guard. Many leaders of large churches will find this a disturbing. They will find it very difficult, maybe impossible, to let go of their power. For there is an element of power in large churches, with large congregations and large budgets. There is nothing wrong with that. However, a new paradigm will be forced upon the church and the church will need to be humble and ready to serve communities in a different way. I believe the economics simply will not work for mega churches in this new paradigm. There certainly will be churches that will have the resources or the people in their community will have the resources to keep their large buildings and budgets. It will incumbent on those church leaders to discern if their church is insulated and isolated from the world or engaged. I believe this new paradigm is happening now. I believe the church has unknowingly and unwittingly insulated themselves from economic realities of the times.
The church once again needs to be relevant. The church needs to be salty and filled with light. The church has been afraid to speak publicly about our culture. The church has been afraid to speak publicly about government policies. The church has been afraid to speak publicly about Godly principles and truth. We nibble around the edges of various topics, but we don’t go right to the center like Jesus did. The church needs to take the gospel of Christ right into the epicenter of the culture, and let the chips fall where they may. I believe there has been too much fear in the church of losing congregants. And the need to service large financial budgets has in many ways made the church impotent. Finances, whether we like it or not, are often the barometer of whether we speak out or not. It should not be that way. In many churches, the loss of a few large financial contributors can determine if a church survives. This is coming to an end. And not of our own volition.
Paul Weston Eden