“Models” or Life?


In the church world, there’s a lot of discussion about different “models” of “doing church”.

We hear about the institutional church model, the home church model, the simple church model, the multiplication model, and so on.

But I would submit that our spiritual life and the ekklesia is not about any model, but rather about life.

Every believer and group of believers can rely on the in-the-moment direction of Jesus, rather than following a prescribed method.

This quote illustrates this point:

“In 1980, Carlos Ortiz did an interview with the Wittenburg Door. Here is a little snippet of it that gets to the heart of what matters.

[One] evidence of immaturity in the church is the need for rules and laws. Children live by rules. They take a bath or brush their teeth because they are told to do it . . . . Suppose the Lord tells me to eat an orange. So I eat the orange and sincerely believe that God has led me. Tomorrow, the Lord tells me to eat an orange again. So what happens? The next day I write down a rule to eat an orange every day. And do you see what that does? Now I don’t need the Spirit anymore. I have a law instead. Laws kill life. Laws stop growth. You end up staying with a concept, a principle, or a doctrine rather than life. What we did yesterday in the Spirit, we do today in the flesh.”

(Posted on FB by Jon Zens, 3-22-2016)

What are your thoughts or experiences with this?

To me, this means that there is no preset model, except to know Jesus and learn together how to listen to Him and follow Him.

What's wrong with just hanging out?

I love this! And I especially love it because I know Jon Zens. I was a neighbor to Jon and Dotty back in 2006.

I became aware of the fact that law kills life, stops growth, and it also makes us completely sin conscious. Hebrews 10:1-5 made that clear to me, that sin consciousness is based in law, not some sort of meeting the mark. Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4; KJV). I could not grasp how God could love me.

I was a member of a church cult which focused on the law of God, i.e., keeping God’s laws, as in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 23. Since Paul kept ALL the holy days, that was evidence for us that we had to also. Then 2 Corinthians 3 was made clear by Pastor Joseph Prince. The truth popped into my heart from that chapter. And then the end of it says we are changed by our focus on Jesus. I was blown away.

After I left that cult, I lived for years by the “shoulds”, making my own law, unknown to me, until I received revelation about Father Abba’s love for me. For decades I didn’t know that I even mattered…since I could never get anything completely right. The law truly kills, which is its function, so we can be truly born of the Spirit.

I could tell you stories that invoke chuckles about how law-based I was, and deeply legalistic. Jon Zens still laughs about some things that I was bound up with.


This all resonated/es with me. I was under law for 50 years, following a to-do list, never knowing what life was about, feeling down because I could only over-commit with each list. Well. Of course, God required perfection [yeah right!! ] so I had to have a plan for getting “it” all done. Mat 5:48 “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” It never occurred to me to study what “perfect” meant, translated from the Greek, which was about being maturity and complete. It was all…ALL, so miserable.

I was so accustomed by “should thinking/doing” that to just sit and listen for the still, small Voice and then be led by His Voice, I would sit and a few minutes later jump up and just get busy. I had NO CLUE I was just in the flesh.


Yeh … I don’t know. That waiting around and hoping everyone comes to the same consensus about what Jesus is leading us in sounds really tough. I think a list of rules, expectations and methods to follow is much simpler … and something we can all agree on. Sure, it may not express Jesus very well, it may be dead and reproduce death in the next generation. But at least it will alleviate our conscience about attending church.


I think that the list of rules, expectations, and methods is precisely what I was in. It was simpler indeed. But it became totally legalistic. And it was not about relationship with the Father, and living by faith. I think we are all led according to our individual paths. Thoughts?