The New Reformation
The New Reformation is the returning of God's power to God's people.
It is a New Reformation of passion - a passion for truth and a passion for Jesus Christ that lies within the heart of every true believer.
An untapped potential of tremendous magnitude lies dormant within a sleeping giant, the American church. It is the body of Christ, the average, common, faithful church-going believers who sit in the pews every Sunday morning, that are just waiting to be used of God ...these people, God's people, released and set free to minister represent The New Reformation.
We call it a New Reformation because the present day American church seems to be aligned generally with either one of two camps:
1. The first is the lukewarm, denominational, cool and rational camp that prefers all things to be done decently and in order. This camp is into proper decorum, moderation, social well-being, and a "look good on the outside" kind of religion.
2. The second camp at the other extreme centers around emotionalism - a high pitched, frothy, surface search for feelings, manifestations, and miracles for miracle sake. This camp tramples on theology while cutely playing and manipulating the Holy Spirit.
Both camps center their services normally around one person, who in most cases is a professional clergyman.
God's power has always been meant for God's people! ...All his people ...Not just a select few.
Somewhere in the center of these two extreme camps, dormant yet powerfully alive, lies a passion within the hearts of God's people - a passion so real and alive - a passion so wonderfully true that when expressed strikes to the heart core of believer and unbeliever alike.
The world expects and takes for granted religious pronouncements from professional clergy; but, in the expression of simple truth and reality of what Christ has done within a commoner's heart lies tremendous power. This eager expression to see Jesus glorified which has been stunted, repressed and put on the back shelf in our church services must be changed to give God's people their rightful dues.
This is a New Reformation - a oneness of the body of Christ merging together from one extreme or the other into the passion of Christ and expressing it one to another.
This is a New Reformation that lifts up, not smites down, God's people.
This is a New Reformation where the great potential within each believer is allowed expression within the "church" service, which is a service of and for the people who are the church.
The New Reformation views the church as a vital, living organism, a divine creation, rather than a man-driven institution.
Why isn't the church making a greater impact upon society? Why have mainline denominational churches lost ground in member ship? Why is the body of Christ seemingly lethargic and defensive rather than offensive?
The answer may be that God's people are not realizing (not allowed or encouraged to) their potential. For whatever reason we are not hearing from God's people! The Sunday morning church service in America must become believer focused rather than Pastor focused.
There must be a real shift of emphasis from the week in and week out Sunday morning pastoral message where the congregation is sitting back as the passive audience to ...personal testimonies of salvation, healing, and deliverance from the laity.
- follow-up reports on homeless and street ministry outreach projects.
- laymen reports from foreign mission trips.
- layperson prayers, reading of scripture, songs, psalm readings, giving testimonies and personal encouragements to the body of Christ.
The Pastor becomes the glorious director of front-line activities but He steps back and allows expression from the army in the field.
Come ...let us reason together. Come ...let us fight the good fight of faith - together. Come ...let us give submission to those offices in authority; but let those offices get under, behind, and build up the troops in the front-lines.
This is The New Reformation ...this is the hope for America!
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus
Stanton R. Herpick
1. Greg Ogden, Pastor of Saratoga Federated Church and his book, The New Reformation.
2. Donald McCullough, President of San Francisco Theological Seminary and his sermon "A Plea for Passion".
3. Myles Munroe and his book Releasing Your Potential.
4. Robert E. Coleman and his book The Master Plan of Evangelism.
5. Chuck Colson and his books The Body and Kingdoms in Conflict.
What Is The New Reformation?
1. First and foremost, The New Reformation is the realization and proper understanding by "professional clergy" of what and who The Church is.
The Church is not an institution, organization, or grouping of committees of human origin. It is a divine creation - a living organism of God's people:
"And (He-God) hath put all things under His (Jesus') feet, and gave Him (Jesus) to be the head over all things to the Church, Which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all". Ephesians 1:22-23
Ministry must be returned to the people of God in The New Reformation because God's people are "The Church" and Jesus is the one who fills all in all (His people) with his life and his power.
2. Second, the body of believers, The Church, must be submitted to their leaders; that is, those who are filling the positions and offices established by God - apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
These have been set up strategically by the Lord to coordinate and support the affairs and activities of the laity who are the troops in the front lines who have been given direction by their leaders:
"for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ". Ephesians 4:11-12
3. In The New Reformation The Church must be reoriented from pastor focused to believer focused.
Worship and ministry are not something done to the people, or for the people, who are mistakenly considered by the clergy to be the audience.
In The New Reformation God, himself, is the audience to a people who are pouring out their hearts to him. 1 Peter 2:5
4. In The New Reformation the institutional entrapment by the religious elite and professional clergy is sidestepped by the Holy Spirit moving through the body of Christ.
When the shift of power returns to God's people then the day of overworked, stressed-out pastors worrying about large numbers of inactive, passive members will be gone.
Each in the body of Christ have gifts to bless one another with. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
5. The New Reformation is a bottom-up of The Church rather than a top-down approach:
"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ". Ephesians 4:15