Saturday, August 29, 2009
"Restart", and What is Simple Church?
It was good to fellowship again with people of God who are hungry for Him and excited about resuming our path together in an organic way. Right now a good part of this is learning what this really means. So it was especially comforting to have Don and Barbara Atkin with us for our time of food, fellowship and worship. This wonderful couple has spent years building churches by building into people's lives.
Don shared a few thoughts this evening and answered a few questions. Here are some of the highlights:
The organic movement honors the fact that there is "One church" of which we are a part.
The church is a family, so the Lord's prayer appropriately begins with "Our Father", not "Our General". Don spoke about how many of us behave toward the Lord as if we are slaves rather than children of a loving Heavenly Father. And yet because of "sires" who have marred the image of fatherhood in this day and age, we have to be careful to go to scripture to understand Him and effectively communicate His heart to the world.
On leadership: Don spoke of authority as something we give to leaders. And true Christian leaders don't oppresively exercise authority as "Gentiles". True spiritual authority is influence, not control or ownership. Ministry is the supply of Jesus Christ to the body. Hierarchy comes from Egypt, the product of misunderstanding of scripture or simply human ambition.
On structure: Our common values, vision and mission should shape the structure, not vice versa. We should never let structure compromise vision. Church is not what we do, its what we BE! We always start with life. We must be bold enough to love and humble enough to serve.
If you are in the Charlotte Metro area and eager to pursue organic church with us, you can contact us at the email address on the right of your screen. For now, I'll leave you with a video link Don sent along that sheds more light on what the Spirit of God is prompting us and others around the world to do.