My follow up to the prior re-blog. The title is sarcasm for this blog.
Let's see....you've left "church" as you know it for one reason or another. You've started reading books by Neil Cole, Frank Viola, Jon Zens. You've latched on to other entertaining blogs full of testosterone(I'll leave these bloggers nameless). You are actively involved on Facebook and Twitter. You have come to believe that preachers are bad and paying for them is worse. You've gotten a dose of others experiences through their writings. You want to go deeper, further, faster towards Jesus Christ. Who am I speaking about????????????
I left institutional church several years ago. It feels like an eternity now. I was angry when I left. My anger was all over the place to say the least. I latched on to organic church very quickly. I had been in superficial small groups or community groups for a long time. I read volumes of blogs and books and became an "expert" in ancient church. I was lucky enough to meet up with some saints that were meeting like the books I read said you should meet. I learned a new language, I gained a new circle of friends plus the ones I brought with me. We had meetings. We ate meals. We cried real tears. We laughed real laughs. We all struggled. Our struggles were tough and deeply rooted in old flesh. Rotting dead flesh.
The folks that helped us are not to blame. I'll repeat the folks that helped us all come together are great brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ and they love us all.
So what happened to me? I moved. I packed up my family and moved 2 states away. My Organic Church Community was encouraging and excited for my family's new chapter. So we moved.
We moved into a much more urban setting from our prior confines. My daughter went to a school as the minority by a landslide. We didn't have anymore Sunday meetings institutional or "organic". What happened? We survived spiritually. We grew spiritually. We did all of this without formal meetings. I ate lunch at my daughters Title 1 school and saw Christ and the hunger for Him on the faces of little children. I hosted countless meals with neighbors and discussed life, seeing Jesus Christ in them all or the desire in them to know Christ. I prayed with coworkers and discussed biblical truths over drinks. I've met others in Charlotte that have never heard of organic church. Some are now moving into our neighborhood in the coming months. We love them and we have never had a formal meeting with any of them.
Here's the deal, community has never eluded any of us. We have eluded community with others because of our desires to replicate our own previous experiences or someone's writings. It's our old man nature.
I do not know Frank Viola personally but I know his colleagues well. Milt Rodriquez and his wife are two of the realist most humble folks I have ever shared my home with. Jon & Dotty Zens are the same way. They all have open invites to stay with us any time they can or are in my area. All three men & some of their wives have written books or blogs based on their experiences. These writings are all excellent unlike this blog that butchers the English language. I am convinced that their writings are meant solely to encourage not to mandate. Our old nature wants more when we read these writings. The more isnt Jesus, it's fuel to feed the flesh in most cases.
I left Facebook a while ago. I was involved in every simple church/ organic church group. I read post after post from folks who wanted to replicate Reimaging Church (www.reimagingchurch.org) they moaned that community was not near. I was one of those folks. The more I saw these posts the more realized that community is not how it's organized, community is how we enage it. So the above mentioned saints who wrote these things aren't telling us all this is church and this is how you do it. They are simply giving their collective experiences to the masses.
It's our turn to contribute. Do yourselves a favor, get out there and allow Jesus Christ to lead you to the community He intended you to be in. Be satisfied with Christ. I'll saw this again....Jesus Christ is all. Until we allow the baggage of our past to be left behind we are not moving forward at the pace we can achieve with Christ as our focus.
Check my reference page for all of these great blogs, I don't have the testosterone filled ones listed.