In 1957 a song came out by the artist Jerry Lee Lewis entitled, A Whole Lotta Shakin Going On, and although it's related to dancing, in many ways it was a prophetic song about an era that was just beginning in the United States. An era that would experience the shaking of the current status quo within the culture and society where civil rights, new freedoms and old paradigms were being confronted.
I think we are in a similar time in the Church right now where paradigms, structures, and value systems that have produced little or no fruit are being shaken and pruned. That means that we as individuals are being shaken and pruned also, since we make up the Church. This experience is not easy for anyone, and being shaken can be very disorienting and even frightening. However, we are told in the Scriptures that God will shake things that need to be shaken to accomplish His plans and purposes in us. In Hebrews 12:27 it says, referring to this shaking that God would, "once more (do the) removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." We have certainly allowed many"created" things into our paradigms and practice of church, and this is being shaken. Of course this is uncomfortable, disorienting, and even frightening - but it is necessary if we are to have more of the Presence of Jesus in our lives and in our expression of fellowship and mission. Most of us have cried out in recent years; "we want MORE of you Lord!" because in our hearts we innately know there is more intimacy, power and fruitfulness than we have thus far experienced - but we have obstacles, hindrances and dead areas that keep this from happening. We need a shaking. A shaking that is achieving a purpose. A shaking that is from God.
The only way to MORE is through LESS. It is one of those spiritual dichotomies of a Kingdom not of this world.
The only way to less is through pruning and shaking. In John 15:2 Jesus speaks of this issue where he says, "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away.
And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth
In gardening terms, the suckers are being removed. A sucker is the term given to a stem which arises from the underground
part of the plant, but is not part of the main plant. Or it can be stems which will never bear any fruit, but act as inhibitors to the the real stem of it getting all the nutrients it needs to bear MUCH fruit. This extra
stem may even be more vigorous and dominating over the true stem stealing the nutrients that gardeners want to be available for the main plant and stems. Suckers are therefore removed as soon as they are seen by gardeners.
In the journey of simple, organic and missional life and expression of fellowship in Christ, you can expect everything that can be shaken, will be shaken, if it has become an created encumbrance that keeps you from a deeper intimacy with God, richer fellowship in our relationship with others, and a natural expression of bringing the realities of Christ to those who don't know Jesus.
You can also expect to be pruned and have some of the suckers removed which have stolen from you the nutrients you need from God that will cause you to bear much fruit. The Bible tells us that it is His will that we bear much fruit and prove to be His disciples. John 15 :8
When I am coaching someone in simple, organic and missional life, we spend much of our time in understanding the dynamics of being shaken and pruned, and coaching can be a great asset for you in this time because it helps you identify what is going on, offers encouragement to submit to God in the process, and helps you to discover how this shaking and pruning achieves good fruit.
So as a coach in simple, organic and missional life and church, I'll use the words of Jerry Lee Lewis in his 1957 song......."shake baby shake"!!!!