A few weeks ago I deliberately split our church, New Beginnings Fellowship in Hernando, Florida! Yep, I split it wide open, right down the middle! Also, I have to emphatically state today that I have totally zero qualms about doing so!
First of all I have to say that I fully understand that a building is never the Church. We who meet in the building in an institutional way or meet in a home in a more organic way are the Church! However, I inherited a building when I became pastor of NBF just over 2 1/2 years ago. We do use the building fully for advancing the Kingdom. Actually the ministry of this group would be pretty difficult to accomplish if it were not for the building.
So, saying this, in regards to me splitting our church, I didn't split up our group or the people. Actually I feel that I've brought us all closer together.
All right, by now you must be wondering how I split our church???
For weeks now, many weeks, we've been teaching on the difference between the Old and New Covenants of the Lord. I find that many Christians today are still living under the confines of the Old Covenant. They do so by maintaining their Christian life under the Law or some form of a law of their own choosing and have not fully passed through the Cross of Christ into the fullness of the New Covenant.
Here is a little about what that looks like......"I am very troubled by all of the problems in my life, so it only stands to reason that God doesn't love me!" "Sunday after Sunday our pastor teaches us that we have to try harder in order to earn God's love, to please Him more so we can finally arrive in the place of His blessings!" And..."I'm such a sinner! I will never get over this desire to sin and I know that God cannot really love and bless me because of it! I try and try, but I never can get it right! O wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this mess in my life!!!!" (and the list could continue) Sound familiar? This thinking is Old Covenant all the way!
The New Covenant, what does that look like? Simply defined it's this....Christ in you is the hope of Glory; apart from Him you can do nothing; you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!
So here is what we've done (I did) at NBF. One meeting while teaching on the New Covenant, I was facing the people and to my left I stated that this entire area represents the Old Covenant. Then in middle of the sanctuary I made the sign of the cross and stated this is where the cross is now located. Then still facing the people, I walked over to my right of the cross and stated that this is where the New Covenant now reigns. For weeks now we have been using this simple illustration to denote the things that fall under the Old Covenant and then what falls under the New. It's been fun, but it's been a very eye opening experience as well. God's wonderful grace...the very power of God himself, dwelling within us gives us the power to become holy and live in right standing with the Lord! We live in the New Covenant!
I love to minister on this! When I do so, and I'm standing on the right side, in the midst of my imaginary land of the New Covenant, I actually do have a very wonderful sense about me. No wonder I feel so good spiritually all of the time. Because there is nothing imaginary about me living in the real New Covenant!
More on this subject later...
Grace & Peace!