Do you have a dark church fantasy?
Beth Barnett recently wrote about the dark church fantasy she sometimes ponders.
What would happen if all church buildings were unable to be used for 3 years?
How would the church respond? How might the church be the church without the buildings so many rely upon? Perhaps the church would embody who we are called to be more fully in such times.
Read her post for further thoughts.
A couple of months ago Geoff Westlake was in America and caught up with “New Thing” – not a church, not a network of churches, but a network of networks of churches!
It started with 2 brothers starting a church (Christian Community Church) with reproduction as a seriously core value.
– So when they started a small group, it was with the other as an apprentice.
– When they wanted to start a second group that was fine but they both then needed to have an apprentice before that group could start.
– When the next person said, “can I start another group,” they said “Sure – but you need an apprentice before you can start.”
– When they started a church, there was an apprentice for every role.
– Then when the apprentices were ready to start their own, it was, “Sure – but you need each an apprentice before you can start.”
– When there were a few churches, a network co-ordinator was needed, but you guessed it, “Sure – you need an apprentice before you can start.”
They eventually needed a systems expert, and found one (and I guess he has an apprentice!). That’s when “New Thing” began – networking networks of networks of churches. Now somewhere in the world a new group/plant begins on average every 11 days.
This adamant apprenticing is the secret to their reproduction. A simple but effective mechanism to enable work to multiply! And even prevent things from starting until they are really ready with reproductive potential.
Last year Scot McKnight released a book – The King Jesus Gospel.
Over recent years he has been doing much thinking, writing and speaking about what the gospel is.
This post explores what is at the centre of the gospel – justice, justification or Jesus.
CB Samuel is someone who has disturbed me, challenged me, made me wrestle with my understanding of the gospel and life and brought me hope for many years now.
This video was filmed for a Perth audience – in it CB Samuel talks about the Gospel, “life” and his observations of Australia.
I’ve been thinking a fair bit recently about how we use energy. It seems to me that the way we work with energy has the potential to make a huge impact on the way we live, relate and what we achieve. Here is a good post about Entrepreneurs as energy workers. How could you work with energy in a way that better facilitates the things that you want to happen in life?
Found this presentation by Mark Sayers interesting and thought-provoking. What do you think?
I was out for a run tonight after dark and as I jogged along the footpath, I approached a couple walking the other direction. The lady moved over to her left, but the bloke was away somewhere else and didn’t see me approach till the last minute. When he looked up, saw me and got a shock, he yelped “Jesus Christ, you scared the sh*t out of me”. We all had a laugh and I ran off.
This little episode got me thinking though. Here was an average Aussie bloke for whom Jesus and the gospel was a long way from being a part of his life. He’s probably not antagonistic, but Jesus as redeemer of the world probably isn’t foremost in his thoughts either. And blokes like this certainly don’t seem to be hanging out to drop along to church on a Sunday morning either.
So what does mission look like with blokes like this? How do we as mission-focused Christ-followers speak into the life of an average Aussie like this bloke. One thought I’ve heard is about friendship and drawing alongside so that when life goes pear-shaped in some way, we are there to offer solace and God’s love and hope. This relies on us actually being in relationship with the average Aussies we know around us. Proper relationship. Or incarnating as we’ve discussed previously.
I run regularly with a bloke from my local footy club called M. M is a good bloke and I enjoy spending time with him and whilst he is a quicker sprinter than me, I can easily outrun him over 5kms! 🙂
But even with our friendship, the opportunities to “witness” to the love of Jesus aren’t plentiful, purely because we hang out. Seems there is more to it than just relationship and proximity too. I long for the day that M encounters Jesus and the Kingdom of God and I hope that I am able to be used by God to be part of it, but it isn’t going to just happen it would seem. Down at the footy club, blokes don’t just talk about life’s deep things. This is the challenge I feel in mission to average Aussie blokes. Prayer, boldness, integrity, honesty, sticking with it and being present are all parts of it.
We need to be in relationship with people. We need to be building depth and sharing into these relationships and we need to pray. What do you think?