I’m setting out on a feeble attempt to give God glory for what he’s done in our little corner of the world in 2009, and taking the risky step of anticipating what’s ahead for 2010.
Summing it up, I believe it was a year the Lord truly brought us “out of Egypt” and began nourishing us in “greener pastures”. I learned that the answer was not a new church or a church ministry… but the Father Himself! Once we grasp who we are in Him and allow Him to bring us together relationally, it’s a whole new ball game. I may elaborate further on this as time permits… beyond what is already on this blog. We are no longer pursuing life within the “institutional church”, but finding it naturally… organically. We relate to others through Jesus rather than through an organization or brand. We can testify this is true freedom the Savior purchased for us.
Closely associated with this, we’re gathering as “OneBody”. That’s the name of our new home church family. We are growing as worshippers, brothers/sisters and servants, and hopefully losing more of our religious consumerism. As we’ve stepped out in faith, the Lord seems to be exponentially connecting us with others in this city and region who want Jesus and Him alone.
We ended the year with a joyous wedding celebration (along with several hundred guests) … the first for our home church family.
The Lord did not miss a beat in connecting me with seasoned “fathers” in the faith to help establish us in this season. Topping this list is Don Atkin.
Don and Barbara have adopted us as their own in the faith and our lives are incredibly richer for it. A month after we left the institutional setting, there was a conference where we connected with others of this stature: Greg Austin, David Newby, Frank Viola. We’re thankful for them all.
By God’s grace we will grow in maturity and become more effective, equipped saints ready to minister to the communities we live in. We believe the Lord will multiply gatherings of the saints throughout the city and region, and through saturation, people will be more able to live out the “one anothers” of scripture. These home churches, or “rings” as some people call them, will sprout up everywhere, becoming more the norm for Kingdom focused believers. The stigma of “non-involvement” in the institutional church will fade yet further as more people find life in the Savior through relating with Him and one another instead of attempting to do so through lifeless systems. More lifestyle evangelism will surface as we spend less time serving a system and more time letting Jesus live in us. Genuine Christians who haven’t “gone to” a church in years will find their “home”… in a home.
More believers will take part in large gatherings around Jesus, as we shed loyalties and devotion to brands and leaders rather than to the Lord. Body ministry will come alive as never before in these gatherings because they will flourish in the homes where believers will be “released” as the priests God created them to be. (An announcement on a regional Celebration here in Charlotte is just days away)
New organic churches will develop in other cities across the nation and walk in the “one man” vision of the New Testament (Ephesians 2:11-22). A new generation of true Kingdom leaders will continue to emerge who are dedicated to equipping the saints for powerful ministry in the Lord rather than amassing power for themselves. And because the glory of the Father will be the pre-eminent concern, God will release more of His power in signs and wonders so He can get the glory.
Fasten your seat belts saints. Great days are ahead!