About this traveller

My photo
London, United Kingdom
Follower of Jesus. Husband. Father. Son. Poet. Writer. Preacher. Story-teller. Learner. Pilgrim.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Emergent Church?

the following article has been lifted from the "Simple Church Blog". I thought it was excellent and wnated to share it wider. Enjoy!

Perhaps the church is neither emerging nor re-structuring so much as re-claiming its true nature as an underground, insurgent movement. By that I mean that the truest work of the Holy Spirit always seems to be initiated among the least and the unseen bringing forth true kingdom life that is contrary and even subversive to the surrounding culture.

Tom Sine, in his new book (not yet published) “The New Conspirators” talks about “joining the conspiracy of the insignificant”:

In spite of the fact that our world is changing at blinding speed and the church is going through some very tough times God is still at work in ways that aren’t always immediately apparent. For some reason, God seems to delight in conspiring through the small, insignificant and ordinary to renew the church and transform the world. Eugene Peterson wrote, “The metaphors Jesus used for the life of ministry are frequently images of the single, the small and the quiet, which have effects far in excess of their appearance: salt, leaven and seed.”

He goes on to say:
Changing the world through the conspiracy of the insignificant has always been God’s strategy. God chose a ragtag group of Semite slaves to be the insurgents of a new order. God sent a vast army to flight with three hundred men carrying lamps and blowing horns. God chose a shepherd boy with a slingshot to lead his chosen people. And who would have dreamed that God would choose a baby in a cow stall to turn the world right side up?

Perhaps the real emergence of today’s church, the primary re-structuring that needs to take place, is in our own hearts. That we would be willing to be the unseen, unheralded ambassadors who heroically refuse to walk in the ways of this world for the sake of demonstrating a love that throws money-changers out of temples, embraces sinners, and forgives those who nail us to a cross.

Maybe, the moment we are no longer underground (unseen) nor insurgent (counter-cultural), we are no longer really the church.

Maybe, the moment “our movement” is recognized, written about, or even blogged about, it no longer has the characteristics of the true church.
Maybe, the moment we receive an accolade or an applause for what we are doing, it is time to look to see if the recognition has come because we have begun to agree more with our culture than the radical kingdom that Jesus preached and demonstrated.
Perhaps it is the underground, insurgent nature of the church that needs to be re-claimed above all else and maybe, just maybe, all of the “emerging” and “re-structuring” will take care of itself.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I will build my Church

Jesus said,

I will build my Church

As I thought about that today I thought that it's amazing how the Church in the UK is in some areas growing, while in other areas groaning. I'm sure the above phrase has thoughts to offer.

The Church that grows is Jesus' Church - not ours. Are we at the helm, or is Jesus?

The Church that grows is in the 'will' of God. Stagnation cannot be the will of God for His Church. Why not?

Because the Church of Jesus is being 'built', not broken down. Growing, not slowing. worshipping, not wilting.

If we're in any doubt as to who should 'own' the Church we are reminded that Jesus said it is 'my' Church.

The Church that grows is not a club, a cosy huddle or a commitee - it is a biblical, relevant, spirit-filled revolutionary body of people that are following Jesus by loving God and loving others.

I wonder if we're spending too much time 'doing' Church instead of 'being' Church. Are we letting Christ build himself into our lives? Are we growing from faith to faith, strength to strength, and glory to glory?

Jesus will build his Church - are we willing to surrender and BE HIS CHURCH?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Following Jesus into rejection?

In our youth group last night we explored reasons why we find it hard to share our faith story with others. The number one reason was REJECTION.

We all want to be liked. We all want to be loved. We all want to be accepted. None of us really wants to be rejected.

As I've thought about this today it struck me the Jesus' most glorified momnet was also his moment of deepest rejection:

At the garden of Gethsemene his closest followers ran off - peer rejection!
His best mate (who promised to be there for him!) denies knowing him three times - friendship rejection!
The crowds that hailed him a king now hates him and calls for his death - community rejection!
God the Father turns his face away - ultimate rejection!

We will never be rejected as badly as Jesus - God will never turn his face from us as long as we live. But we need to know that if we are to follow Jesus we will most likely find ourselves being rejected by others. Jesus tells us to take up our cross.

Are we willing to follow Jesus even if we are rejected by family, friends or community? We at least know that when we are rejected by others becuase of faith - God stands with us.