The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. – Acts 15:6
I have to chuckle at the notion that the early church was some sort of pristine, idyllic environment of holiness and purity, free from conflict or strife. Some of my contemporaries wish to paint a picture (unbiblical though it may be) of brothers and sisters sitting in a circle singing an early Aramaic version of “Kumbaya.”
Of course, this was not true. From its earliest existence, the church of Jesus Christ has experienced and handled conflict, and not always well. I think, however, a crucial difference between the church then and the church now is the willingness to address conflict when it does occur and also the manner by which it is addressed.
As we pray for revival (and I imagine it is needed everywhere), let us also pray for a return to biblical models and structures within the local church. God’s Word should govern what we do more than structures that reflect the influence of civil government or business hierarchy. The church may be an organization (and also need to be organized), but first it is an organism.
If the goal is to keep certain things going, the church is in trouble. The end result must always be about people. Programs should only be tools. – Thom Rainer