Extreme Makeover: Church Edition

emceI am extremely excited about writing this post – and I don’t even know exactly what I’m going to say!  I’ve been feeling I need to write it so I’m looking forward to what comes out….. Let’s go!

A few days ago I wrote a post about Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and very soon after, I got an idea about an Extreme Makeover: Church Edition. It would be awesome!!

Quick recap for anyone who hasn’t seen Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EMHE): Ty Pennington and a team of expert designers find a deserving family somewhere in the USA and surprise them one day then, while the family is in DisneyWorld or somewhere, they knock down their house and build them a completely new one designed and furnished just for them. The family also gets showered with other gifts like new cars and money toward their mortgage and whatever people want to give them.

So I started thinking about the team of ‘designers’ I would pull together for Extreme Makeover: Church Edition (EMCE) and it would hopefully look something like this:

  • Me (because it’s my idea and I want to join in on the fun)
  • My brother in law Robert, because he’s my right hand man and is so much of a help to me in so many ways and has so many gifts and talents, I wouldn’t even consider doing it without him.
  • John Wiley from the River Christian Fellowship. Man, that guy is incredible!
  • Tom Wymore who is the Simple Church Coach for FourSquare. Tom has an ability to cut through everything with one sentence, one question. He’ll change your world if you give him 5 minutes!
  • Dr John Amstutz. If you’ve met him, you’ll know why. If you haven’t – just trust me, he’d be a great asset to ANY team!
  • Mike Ellis. Mike is a go-getter, a do-er who puts me to shame. We’d need him because he has so much to offer!
  • Randy Calaway. The man has a gift of prophecy and no mistake!
  • I’d probably like Charles Hill too but somehow I think he and John Wiley would cancel each other out. Maybe they could do alternate weeks.

I’d then rotate in a few other designers from week to week like AkaGaGa just depending on the church we were making over.

So it would go something like this… we’d turn up on a Sunday morning and get everyone out of the church building and tell them that their church was getting an extreme makeover and the makeover starts right now!

I’d leave them in suspense for a minute or two while they start dreaming of how great their building is going to look after we’ve done our makeover and how comfortable the new chairs are going to be.

Then we’d send them out right there and then with sack lunches and tell them to go find a homeless person somewhere in the city and give them the lunch – then they would have to ask that person’s name and commit to praying for them every day for at least a month.

As they came back to the church campus after finding their homeless person, we’d have them come into the sanctuary and get feedback from them. Depending on what they say, we’d start some teachings based on where they are spiritually. The lessons would be titled things like:

  • What is the Church and what is it’s purpose aka who are the Church and what is YOUR purpose?
  • Home fellowships – the life and soul of the Church
  • 101 reasons why you should NOT come to church on a Sunday
  • Missions 101 – the mission field is in your street
  • Church buildings? Necessary or a hindrance?
  • Stewardship – is it wise to store money for a rainy day while people starve in your town?
  • Your pastor is not God – neither is he the only way for you to hear from God.
  • You have two ears and one mouth for a reason – so you can spend twice as much time listening to God as you do talking to him
  • etc etc etc

We’d have them all take a week or two off of work and would do an intensive course on what Christianity is really all about.

We’d introduce them to the Holy Spirit and work with them to discover and start developing their gifts.

We’d separate them into smaller groups of no more than around 15 people and teach them to live as a community supporting each other, getting together daily, loving each other reaching out together. We’d redistribute some of the wealth of the church giving each group a share of the financial resources of the church and encouraging them to find ways to use that money for good in their local communities.

… and we’d do much, much more.

OK, so we couldn’t do it all in a week, we’d have to stick around for a while but I believe that the Church has largely descended into apathy and we need to shake it up!

I would love to be able to go in and shake up one congregation at a time not leaving until they have been completely made over.

My church would be first. We only started 2 years ago but I know we already need a makeover. We’re already slipping into past practices instead of doing what God is teaching us. EMCE team, you’re needed here!

Try these questions to get you thinking:

Having a building is great but what are you using it for? What COULD you be using it for? what SHOULD you be using it for? How many people will shiver with cold trying to sleep rough outside in your town all night tonight while your church building remains warm and dry? Is that what Jesus taught us to do?

I find Jesus’ message to the Pharisee’s In Matthew 23:15 very convicting:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

Sons of hell? when new people come to our churches, what exactly is it that we are teaching them? Are we discipling them as Jesus taught or are we turning them into sons of hell too?

The Church needs a makeover and it starts…. right now!


Just for reference, I haven’t spoken about this to any of the people mentioned in this article so please do not associate them with this (unless they want you to), they are just my dream team!