Re-Formation of the 21st Century Church

Peter Kentley writes: Recently there has been a question calling to my heart…

“What will reformation in the 21st century church look like”? The word reformation to me means re-formation… re-formation back to what Jesus meant by “his ecclesia” in Matthew 16. This caused me to start searching for insights in prayer into the original meaning of Matt 16:13-20 and Acts 2.

Then after some ten days of prayer I had an amazingly vivid dream of being in a small group in Melbourne when Jesus returned in our time. This was not a prophetic dream but more like a parable answering the question of my heart.

My first reaction in this dream was suspicion of a counterfeit. It took some time in my dream to gain confidence that this was really Jesus with us in his returned form.

Yet this was only a dream experience of how Jesus would operate today… not at all about the prophetic aspects from the book of Revelation etc. I believe this was a Holy Spirit insight experience in answers to my persistent questions about revival in the church in the 21st century.

This is how the dream unfolded…

Firstly Jesus was much thinner than I expected and he wore shorts (it was warm summer weather) and his upper body was exposed with the torture marks from the lashes clearly visible on his back.

He was warm, personal, understanding and patient. He knew that time was necessary for confirmation that it was really him. As he greeted me there was such radiant joy in his face at meeting up physically at last. There was such warmth and radiant winsomeness in his welcome and greeting.

As in the early church Jesus started again with a small group winning their hearts and ministering to their needs. There was great joy as the band grew in confidence that this was the real thing (yet only a dream).

Miracles took place straight away. Nothing took more than a few seconds to resolve as Jesus touched, healed, loved and warmly accepted people. His presence was surrounded by theological clarity and peace. There was no place for confusion about theology or interpretations. Everything was clear in his presence and his band of friends were being uplifted and brought to clarity of thinking and expectations just by being with him. Then the ministry started to radiate out from the small circle of friends who first discovered his return (but only a dream). His joy and love started to touch others around the band of friends. Quick healing. Quick refreshment. Quick liberty. Now extending out to others. No long explanations. No long teaching. Things became clear for people very quickly because of the clarity of the Holy Spirit’s presence that pervaded the atmosphere around him and through the immediacy of growing connectivity with others.

There was nothing that gave Jesus more delight than seeing people set free from whatever burdens, illness, addictions or constraints that held them back. There was such joy on his face as they moved out of bondage and into freedom.

Suddenly the band was growing fast with people becoming part of what was happening – people who did not come from previous church backgrounds. In the dream Jesus was not in a building but in the suburbs, parks and homes. The ministry started to be transferred from him to his friends as he expected us to start doing his ministry in caring for others. This happened with clear discernment of what the needs were and quick ministry occurred through both touch and unspoken communications such as eye contact. So many things were being resolved without words.

We are near the end of the dream now. The ministry went viral from person to person. As you received blessing so you were expected to bless others. It was the radiant movement of the Holy Spirit flowing out from Jesus person to person in concentric circles of relationships, as you see when you throw a stone in a pond. The nature of the expanding concentric circles was goodness, joy, freedom, liberty and healing… but all connected back to Jesus as the source of the love and newness of life and freedom in truth, healing and freedom.

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