About CP

Welcome to ChurchWorldProvocateur.com. My name is Winn Griffin and I host this site and serve as its resident provocateur. The following is a short overview of the intention of the site. As a personal introduction, I like to tell folks that I have been in the church (read institutional) since nine months before I was born. I carry a few different pieces of luggage with me into this endeavor. I have been a part of the institutional church for 72 years as of this writing. I have seen a bit over those years and have finally made the decision of “stepping outside the system” in order to talk about the system. That may feel strange to many, but as of 2015, there are thousands of folks that are leaving the institutional church who have been some of its biggest supporters, but have found that it has grown more dysfunctional over time. These folks, of which you may be one, have not forsaken the church, they have forsaken the institutional church (read: ChurchWorld). Below are a few thoughts about the intent of the site.

ChurchWorld = the institutional church in all its different forms sometimes called the modern church, the contemporary church, Sunday church, and often conflated with the word church as we often speak about it today.

ConversationProvocateur (prō-vŏk’ə-tûr’) = A person who challenges


This website is about challenging the ideas and presuppositions that the modern institutional church is the same as the church that the authors of the NT wrote about in the first century. It is not! So, what is one to do? Well, one thing is to tell your own stories about the ChurchWorld, not in a vindictive way, but what experiences have you had both positive and negative. Thus, we invite you to join in and tell us your stories about the stuff you have noticed in your own journey with the modern institutional church. Our present church systems are haunted by the first century, but often fall somewhat short of its directives.

Our purpose is not to get back to the good old days. Those days are gone. Our purpose is not to get back to the New Testament days. Those days are also gone. However, our purpose is to to look at where we are now and at least ask questions about how God’s story can inform us going forward.

For almost two thousand years the church has been institutionalized. To become institutionalized, it only takes about one generation. There are faint views of this at the close of the New Testament. When Paul talks about the “church” and adopts the word “ekklesia,” which is never used to describe a building, to inform those first home gatherings, he was most likely thinking about a small group of folks that met to debate and discuss their faith. 1 In addition, the meetings most likely occurred with a celebration meal in which “the Lord’s Supper” was central. 2 That description is not the primary picture one thinks about when the modern contemporary church gathers on any given Sunday morning or at other times it meets.

Hence, we have tagged the modern institutional church with the word “ChurchWorld” as different from the idea that was most likely in Paul’s mind when he wrote about church/ekklesia in what we call the New Testament.

We invite you to Like us on our Facebook Page to stay informed about our mission.

BTW: in the right column at the top of this page is an offer for an eBook: A Collection of 12 Reflections About Stories We Tell. Go ahead and leave us your name and eMail address and within a few minutes you can download the eBook in PDF format and begin reading.

Notes:

  1. Steve Atkerson. “First Century House Churches.” http://www.ntrf.org/articles/article_detail.php?PRKey=50#_ftnref2. (accessed: February 24, 2015)
  2. The Lord’s Supper as described in the Gospels and 1 Corinthians has been reduced over the years from a festive celebration meal in a home to a clergy led tradition (in many ChurchWorld gatherings), which is done on a routine basis during “worship” services. Biblical tradition seems to suggest that it was central to the churches when they met together.
Disclosure of Material Connection: If links are included in the posts above, some may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I do recommend books and other resources from time to time. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”