rap sheet 11/15/20
Series: Whatever It Takes
Message: Form & Function
The Prophet Isaiah came onto the scene while Israel was straying from God. They worshipped idols and false gods and made alliances with evil nations. As a prophet, God spoke through Isaiah to the people in order to get their attention. In Chapter 1 of Isaiah's Old Testament book, what He had to say was quite shocking!
He begins by listing all the religious exercises that the people were required by Jewish Law to do. Every one of them, God says He can not stand! The very rules and requirements that God created, He no longer accepts as valid. This points to a deep underlying truth about God - He has always been after our hearts, not our compliance.
This week we talked about Form vs. Function. The popular phrase, "Form Follows Function" was coined by architect Louis Sullivan. It meant the details of a buildings Form (How tall, wide, how many stories, what rooms it consists of, bathrooms, terraces, direction it faces... literally every part of its 'FORM') should be built out of understanding the buildings Function.
This concept has been brought into every part of life and used as a tool to make sure that life is centered around purpose, not process. Form Follows Function is a way to ensure that our decisions are made through the correct lens. Instead of asking, "How many friends do I want?"... We can ask, "What is the purpose of my friendships?"
How many friends do I want is a FORM question that leads to building relationships without understanding their purpose in your life. What is the purpose of my relationships is a question that gets to the heart of the FUNCTION people are going to play in your life. Once you have the clarity of the function, the Form begins to become clear.
What are some other examples of Form and Function?
Have have you gotten this backwards in life before?
What is a time you got this right?
Isaiah is showing the Jewish people that they have prioritized FORM over FUNCTION. They are still executing the Forms of worship - sacrifice, prayer, holiday observance, etc. - but they have moved FAR away from the Function of Worship. Religion was never a replacement for Relationship. The Religious activities were meant to be done out of an overflow of love for God. The Function was deeper and more intimate relationship with our Maker.
God does not Mince words through the Prophet Isaiah. He HATES empty Religious Forms. When Jesus came, He started a new movement. He moved us away from Religious Form and focused the church fully on Function! The Movement no longer orbited around a Holy Place, (the temple), or Holy Practice, (The Law). This new Movement did Whatever It Takes to get people to Jesus.
The church grew like no other movement in history. The first several centuries are a true testament to the power of what Jesus started. Eventually, the growth stagnated. It happened around the same time "church" became synonymous with a building and programs.
What happened? The Function was traded from comfortable religious Forms.
If we want to see the full power of MetaChurch displayed, we must be vigilant to be a Function First movement! It takes all of us to cast aside any Forms that get in the way of reaching lost people and building our Mission out of our God-given Function!
HERE IS YOUR APPLICATION QUESTION FOR THE WEEK:
What is one area of your life where Function Follows Form and what is ONE WAY you will begin to correct it?
In other words, what is something in your life that you do because "Everyone else does it that way?" If you were honest, are there areas of your life that you have not thought about through the lens of purpose?
Begin the process this week of asking, "Why?"
Seek God during this process. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas that you are living out of expected Forms instead of operating powerfully out of Function. Learn to trust that God has a purpose for your life and seek Him to find out what that is. Spend time reflecting on the life of Jesus - a life lived perfectly with Form Following Function.