What I have written might ruffle some feathers. However, it’s something that many of us church folk are aware of and may be in the midst of. I don’t mean in any way to point fingers but to encourage you the reader to seek a Spirit-led life. If churches aren’t being Spirit-led, then I think it’s safe to assume that those attending most likely aren’t being encouraged to allow the Spirit to lead in their own lives. In my course of ministry I have encountered several churches that I would refer to as “machines.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be organized, to have goals as a church, and to have fresh vision. Those are all great things. The problem is when the church becomes so efficient at running its programs, meeting its goals, and fulfilling the vision, that the church finds itself not relying upon the Spirit’s leading. With service rehearsals, focus groups deciding what the sermons will be, scripted announcements/prayers, and cues becoming the norm, it’s easy to see how the Spirit would not be acknowledged. These churches have it down to a “T.” Production is flawless and they are fluid. All great, but the main issue is that most machines are engineered to fulfill one task. If you’ve ever seen a car manufacturing line there are several robotic machines that assist in assembling a vehicle. It would be redonkulis if the robotic welder malfunctioned so they decided to use the robotic paint sprayer. It wouldn’t fly! When the church becomes a machine it’s good at doing what it does. But when the Spirit comes along and wants to change things up, it’s very difficult for the machine to fall into sync with what the Spirit desires to do in the body.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ‘
Through chapter two and three of Revelations we see, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” It’s a scary place when the church is so machine-like that there is no longer an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying. It’s a scary place in our own lives when we don’t have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying. The church today needs to continually surrender to the Spirit’s leading.
Pour out your Spirit, Lord!
Phillip MacIntosh was the Director of 1-800-HIT-HOME, the National Youth Crisis Hotline and Senior Pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship UTC, San Diego. Phillip now currently serves alongside his father at Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego. He also serves as a Chaplain for the San Diego Harbor Police, Chula Vista Police and Chula Vista Fire Department. Phillip is happily married with three young children.