That Radical Wayne

Continuing on this topic…

An interesting blog post from Wayne Jacobsen about NOT starting a church.

A few quotes:

I am convinced real church emerges as an organic outgrowth of relationships people are already sharing. So the question is not, how do we start a church, but rather, how do we facilitate people caring for each other and growing spiritually together and see over time whether or not church life emerges from that reality?

I really don’t think we need to start churches. Jesus started the only one that matters at Pentecost 2000 years ago. We just need to live in that reality instead of starting more institutions that only further divide the body.

What should you do? Follow him. If you don’t know what that means yet, just live in his love and love others around you. In time it will be clear what he wants you to do. If you don’t know now, other than to follow someone else’s form, then maybe you are moving ahead of him.

We are not told to plant a church, for he said he would build his own. He’s good at this. He knows what to do. Just help others as God gives you grace. Don’t try to start something. Don’t try to ‘get people’ to do anything. Live your life before them until they are hungry enough to ask for help. Then help them learn to live loved and follow Jesus. And the gospel will spread…

What do you think?

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36 thoughts on “That Radical Wayne

  1. Ahhhh … Wayne … You force me to struggle the divide between the spiritual realities of how relationships actually work and my fervent ambitions to see the Kingdom of God go forth on this earth.

    I have gone back and forth between the seeing no practical gains in seeing transformational impact in real relationships, and thinking “good lord, do we just sit here and do nothing but love people???”

    Are we really so task-oriented that taking such a hands-off and yet intentional approach seems so ludicrous? A part of me wants to say that Wayne’s advice is an invitation to do nothing, and yet I look back and see that the only real fruit came from the steady, gracious friendships that were naturally formed along the way.

    I am continually reminded of where Jesus says “My Father is constantly at work … I initiate no work of my own, but I jump in with what I see Him initiating right around me.”

    1. “good lord, do we just sit here and do nothing but love people???”

      But is loving people not enough? I have testimony after testimony of people that have been helped and some who have become bosom friends from just loving people … and in the middle of that, God’s kingdom is extended…. people in this world NEED love … and the word does say, “Perfect love casts out fear”…

      I just make myself available to others and let God lead. It really DOES make things easy.

      A part of me wants to say that Wayne’s advice is an invitation to do nothing, and yet I look back and see that the only real fruit came from the steady, gracious friendships that were naturally formed along the way.

      Invitation to do nothing? au contraire, my friend… loving people can be taxing at times, being there for the broken, loving on those who feel they are unloveable, sacrificing to be available…. but it is SO worth it :) The LORD extends his church through love… ‘The greatest commandment is ‘love the Lord your God….’ and the second is like it ‘love your neighbour as yourself…’

  2. I loved those quotes. I’ve just come from having a hearty discussion on my own blog on this same topic.

    I like that Roger (the author of the original article) realized that, as he put it, ‘house churches are not the end game.’ House church can be the means to the end of discipling the nations (a place to host ‘viral disciplers’, as he put it) but house church for house church’s sake just doesn’t cut it.

    I am convinced real church emerges as an organic outgrowth of relationships people are already sharing. So the question is not, how do we start a church, but rather, how do we facilitate people caring for each other and growing spiritually together and see over time whether or not church life emerges from that reality?

    My only caveat to what he says above is that the Word says that ‘where two or three are gathered, there He is in the midst’; so church life has already emerged from it, right? I tell people we’re in church when it’s just two or three of us in my car moving from one place to another… and if a not-yet believer is there…. who knows what God will do if I ask Him?

    I really don’t think we need to start churches. Jesus started the only one that matters at Pentecost 2000 years ago. We just need to live in that reality instead of starting more institutions that only further divide the body

    I like the sound of that. Living in the reality that Jesus already started the church. Takes the burden off, doesn’t it?

    We are not told to plant a church, for he said he would build his own. He’s good at this. He knows what to do. Just help others as God gives you grace. Don’t try to start something. Don’t try to ‘get people’ to do anything. Live your life before them until they are hungry enough to ask for help. Then help them learn to live loved and follow Jesus. And the gospel will spread…

    Oooh I love this – ‘live your life before them until they are hungry enough to ask for help. I like!!!!!

    Lord help ME to break out of my own institutionalization and continue to help others – where you lead, I will follow!

  3. Assuming every nation (people group) has been ‘reached’, and every believer within those groups had an extroverted personality on some level, this ideology might have a chance … but the picture is much larger and humanity is much more complex than that. Indeed, where there are believers, I see the need for them to ‘assimilate’ into their culture while maintaining Christ’s character, but at some point there will come a cultural clash with the ‘offence of the cross’ (“If they persecuted me, they will persecute you). Unless, of course, we don’t get into that.

    Jesus personally appointed Paul to ‘plant churches’ amidst the Gentile nations. Yeah, he got persecuted too. Just the term ‘plant’ indicates something organic. But didn’t Paul also place structure into those organic families of believers? Didn’t he have the leaders he mentored (e.g. Timothy and Titus) mentor others for appointment to leadership? There must be some middle ground here somewhere.

    I will concede this: Leaders were not graduates from seminary, given some certificate that proves their leadership abilities, and then sent to institutionalize the organic groups being formed. It seems to me that leaders were recognized because of their ability to lead through inspiration, influence, and example. Paul carefully instructed Timothy to be very careful in this process, and particularly not to put ‘newer believers’ into leadership. They simply had not been tempered through the fires of the trials in life … and yet our seminaries are sending young inexperienced leaders into the institutions of their flavor by the scores to carry on the institutionalized master plan of doing church (whatever that might be).

    So, I understand Wayne’s (and many others) backlash against the institution, but I am not sure we need to retreat to ideology. Our corporate command is to love our neighbor. Our corporate mission is to make disciples. It takes structure to keep a fellowship (of even two or three) on the same page and moving in the same direction. We need to somehow keep these in balance. I believe that’s the struggle Christ’s Church is engaged in at the moment.

    1. But didn’t Paul also place structure into those organic families of believers? Didn’t he have the leaders he mentored (e.g. Timothy and Titus) mentor others for appointment to leadership? There must be some middle ground here somewhere.</blockquote

      Ken, see my post in the earlier comment above on my take on this … Structure’s important – even for one cell organisms like amoebas! I don’t think that Grace or Wayne are – as you put it – “backlash[ing] against the institution”…. we agree that “love” is the base command, and “structure” is needed for direction – but I agree 100% that balance is the key… it’s a fine line between being led by the Spirit and being strangled by man made structures!

  4. I think these quotes are brilliant! We try waaay too hard to make stuff happen.

    Ken makes a good point that Paul was instructed to plant – but that’s Paul. So God may instruct some of us to plant – and not all of us. There’s such a diversity in scripture of how people lived with God and obeyed him, since He instructed different people with different calls and different expressions of following Him. We can’t try to reproduce something that is unique to a particular person. For example, what Enoch ever “do” for God? ;) Why isn’t Enoch our standard? Or Job? Or Pricilla, or Zaccheus? You know, those characters on the margins of the Grand Story…

    But our understanding of what “planting” looks like probably needs to be less informed by traditions, and more informed by obedience to whatever God is saying to us in our particular context. I can relate to what Wayne is saying – especially the part about timing:

    “Follow him. If you don’t know what that means yet, just live in his love and love others around you. In time it will be clear what he wants you to do. If you don’t know now, other than to follow someone else’s form, then maybe you are moving ahead of him.”

    I think we try to do so much on our own initiative, and not as a response to His personal interaction with us.

    1. There’s such a diversity in scripture of how people lived with God and obeyed him, since He instructed different people with different calls and different expressions of following Him

      Wonderful, Sarah… I agree 100% … Obedience to God’s call is the most important thing – whatever that ‘looks like’ … and in fact, if we are totally obedient, more than likely how you outwork your call WILL be totally different to how I outwork mine – even if it is pointed in the same general direction!

      But our understanding of what “planting” looks like probably needs to be less informed by traditions, and more informed by obedience to whatever God is saying to us in our particular context.

      I couldn’t put it better myself.

      My pastoral gift is being worked out in relationships with people all over the world on the internet – does that make my call less valid than someone called to set up a mortar and brick structure and meet on a prescribed day of the week? No.

      As you say, “I think we try to do so much on our own initiative, and not as a response to His personal interaction with us.” And if we respond more to his personal interaction, the Kingdom of God would expand THAT much quicker, imho

  5. I don’t disagree with you, but I also don’t do a complete buy-in, at least according to what I’m hearing. Take the statement: ” Obedience to God’s call is the most important thing – whatever that ‘looks like’ ” Having served in both church leadership and in international missions I have had to work with people who were absolutely convinced that they were being obedient to God’s call – and they ended up offending hosts, abandoning commitments, and making my job a whole lot more difficult than it should have been. It got to the point that I became very cynical of those who began their sentences with “God spoke to me … ” or “I feel led of the Spirit … “, etc.

    When working with volunteers in the mission organization there needs to be a sense of maturity, and certainly the younger volunteers who may not have had the proper experience to mature yet should at least be under the guidance of a mature leader. A leader who has the wisdom and influence to instruct these youngsters to minimally stick with the commitment they made in the initial agreement.

    When serving in a fellowship of believers (I served in some capacity of leadership in four churches ranging from Pentecostal to Reformed), the biggest trouble-makers were almost always those who ‘heard from God’. Also, as you may know, many of the prominent spiritual leaders of late who have ‘fallen’ were leaders who were absolutely convinced they were ‘following God’ – but the fruit reveals otherwise.

    If you tried to tell any of them that what they were doing was not in line with God’s love, they would not only not believe you, but would have clear biblical rationale for what they were doing.

    Thus, I agree with you up to a point, but from my experience in real life, much of this sounds idealogical. Life and people (yes, even Christians), are unpredictable and messy. I am a father and grandfather and I love my wife, my kids, and my grandkids more than I could ever express in words. But even within our family relationships it takes a lot of work to keep us moving through life together. We all ‘hear from God’ but we don’t always agree on what we’re hearing. It takes structure, collaboration, patience … and leadership. That’s how a healthy family functions.

    1. Well said. I can agree with you there. “Hearing from God” isn’t enough… and I had to learn myself that “structure” isn’t evil. (In my blog post which I alluded to earlier (http://bajanpoet.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/the-shape-of-the-church/) I made reference to even a simple one celled creature like an amoeba needed a structure … :)

      So we’re not speaking different sides of the same coin – we’re on the same page…. and I take your warnings to be careful and sober, with leadership … quite seriously.

      In my experience, being relational doesn’t divorce from leadership at all… it is necessary, absolutely necessary – in my own network (which some call a house church) there are clearly defined leaders that we all look up to for advice and counsel, even as each group explores what God’s kingdom might mean for them. So I’m agreeing with you, brother… it might seem ideological, but there are places where ideology seems close to reality :)

      No one’s perfect, and there needs to be structure in place to help everyone see where we’re going, but let’s not get so rigid that we can’t be flexible under the Spirit :) The leaders you speak of lost or ignored the structure that was placed in their way to help guide them… they became ‘IT’ … and ‘pride comes before a fall, and haughtiness before destruction’….

  6. I have been listening to Wayne Jacobsen’s podcast “the god journey” for a few months now & I actually doubt that this was meant to be anything against institutional church. I think the point of his statement is, we don’t need to go start our own new thing. There is plenty of that and I couldn’t agree more that there isn’t really a need for a bunch of new churches.
    Especially in the West, we tend to move on to a new venue when our outlook changes or there is conflict within a body of believers we gather with.
    In the end there is one church, one God, Jesus is the leadership and the Holy Spirit is the only teacher we need.
    IMO
    Peace

  7. Grace,
    Good quote. I love “don’t try to get people to do anything.” Because that’s almost all I see in any church whatever the goal- they’re always trying to get people to do something that is on somebody’s agenda. He’s right. i wonder why “we” are so blind to that.

  8. bajanpoet – I read your post, and I agree that we are not on opposite sides of the coin. I don’t want to make to much of the ‘backlash’ statement. I do not consider backlash to be on the same level as rebellion. I see it as an almost natural response to a perceived abuse. Even in the word picture ‘backlash’ forms I see a sharp move away, a recoil, but not a disconnect. I guess I would say at this point in my spiritual journey, I am in a state of backlash with the institutionalized church. It is too fraught with tradition that was (Western) culturally formed centuries ago, and I do not feel it is effective in our 21st century eclectic postmodern culture. But, as you say, we cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater. There is still life in the church, and Jesus is still the foundation. Yes, there is a need for some deconstruction, but we must be careful as to how fast and how far we go. To deconstruct beyond structure is too far. It works for awhile, but where vacuums exist, sooner or later the power-seekers exploit.

    I do like your approach to leadership. If there is indeed a relational family on mission together, the group should be able to identify leaders through their wisdom, their influence, their inspiration and their exemplary lives. I am very cautious regarding self-appointed leaders, and as I have previously stated, about leaders who are appointed by the institution itself because they have gone through an acedemic exercise and received a certificate indicating that they will uphold all of the traditional thinking and structure of that institution (static orthodoxy).

    My only caution, I guess, was being careful in following an ideological pattern of church without recognizing the need for the reality of structure. You recognize it, and I recognize it – but there are young believers out there who sincerely believe they can change the world just by loving and being loved, and that once people out there see ‘the genuine thing’, they will come along and love with them. They need to be encouraged in all that is right with that thinking, but they also need to have mature leaders walking beside them to pick up the pieces when their ideology clashes with reality. One of Paul’s indicators of authority as an apostle and leader was his scars. They are a great part of discipleship and maturity. Again, I am very cautious in following leadership that bears no scars. They still have things to learn about serving in the Kingdom in a fallen, hostile, and chaotic world.

    1. . To deconstruct beyond structure is too far. It works for awhile, but where vacuums exist, sooner or later the power-seekers exploit.

      Yeah … very true

      I am very cautious regarding self-appointed leaders, and as I have previously stated, about leaders who are appointed by the institution itself because they have gone through an acedemic exercise and received a certificate indicating that they will uphold all of the traditional thinking and structure of that institution (static orthodoxy).

      As am I, friend, as am I….

      I like your comment about following leaders with no scars. Interesting … will give it some thought.

      Thanks for the debate :) Please come to my blog and add your thoughts … I’d like to keep ‘sparring’ with u lol (forgive the crude analogy!)

  9. Afraid I agree totally with Wayne.I think we ‘church folk’ need to go and live among the millions of India who have other faiths and get deprogrammed from our misinterpretations of ecclesia.I for one don’t think Jesus meant to start a new religion with’ church’ as we percieve it at its core.Call me a Budist Christian or a Christian Budist or some other term but that is where my experience has led me.

  10. Charlie,

    Jesus didn’t start a new religion at all. He revealed the Kingdom and then formed the church to herald its arrival. Buddhism as a religion is a religion, and has no place in the Kingdom. There may be attributes of the Buddist religion that reflect some of the Kingdom principles, but ultimately it is heritical (yeah, I know, a Christianeese buzz-word) in that it defies Kingdom orthodoxy.

    When Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit, He didn’t pour it out on any religious institution. He poured it out on those who were diligently seeking to follow and obey Him. They were seeking a gift, but even they had no idea what that gift was until it came. Once it (He) came, a living organism known as the Body of Christ was formed under the Head, baptized into Christ, and that body was and is known as the church. The church alone has been commissioned to herald the arrival of His Kingdom, and to make disciples of the King. Jesus alone is the vine, and shares His honor and glory with no other form or following. It is my sincere conviction that there is no comparison between the reality and truth of His Kingdom and some counterfiet known as Nirvana.

    I caution not to let experience alone be the guide on your spiritual walk. Jesus used and verified the scriptures as the objective source of Truth in order to keep us from leaning on our own understanding, and gave us the imperative to fellowship and serve in mission with His church – an organic structure that bears His Name alone.

    It’s not my intention to be mean-spirited here. Can a Christian and a Buddhist get along? Of course – and I believe that it is imperative for the Christian to make the most effort to do so in love, but not in compromise. Paul says in Galatians 1, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!”

    The fact that you are in such passionate agreement with Wayne and are able to claim to be a Buddhist Christian is a good illustration to me that there is something critical missing in the information posted. Ideology without structure is dangerous.

  11. One cannot disagree … but Jesus said much more than this. Read Matthew 5-7 for example. Kingdom love is so much different than the many different perceptions of love that the world embraces and espouses. When you say “Love God. Love your neighbor.” What does that mean to you? It may mean something completely different to someone else.

    Why did Paul say to the Elders of the church of Ephesus that ‘savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from among your own number men will arise and distort the truth to draw away disciples after them.’ (Acts 20:29, 30)? Or what did the apostle Paul mean in 1 Cor. 5 when he actually instructed a faith fellowship to turn a member over to Satan (verse 5)? Where is the love in that? This is the same man who wrote 1 Cor. 13! Was he confused, conflicted? Could it be that this ‘church thing’ is perhaps a bit more complex than our ‘love ideology’ would like to believe?

  12. For “The Body” of believers everywhere, “Love God+Love Neighbor” thee sufficient operating system, if and only if, the hardware were capable of running at full capacity all the time. The biggest problem is in the doing. The human hardware units finding it difficult if not impossible to fulfill its operating software commands without the constant banging into one another’s metal case (iron sharpening iron)…

    I am less enthusiastic about the artificial atmosphere of ‘churchiness’ vs. just the concept of ‘the church’. Church buildings or meeting places at regular intervals or even programs not offensive in and of themselves, but there is an odious emanation that can develop from stagnation taking place once ‘the church’ construct gets gangrene in the early stages & rigor mortis in the later…

    A church institution/organization can become so insular it becomes its own reason for existence. Kingdom priorities somehow misplaced or twisted into an unrecognizable caricature of what Jesus intended. Church, the original concept = good. “Church” as it is practiced/expressed can be bad. And some of you posting here will certainly agree it can be very, very bad. We cannot be a Body without connectedness, accountability, interaction, life flow, gifts operating, love expressed, needs met, etc. That is to be the hallmark of the individual corpuscle as well as the organ it is part of. I shy away from a church environment not because I have concluded it is unnecessary, but simply because it harbors necrosis. It repulses me. It scares me. It is the place where severe injury was incurred…

    I attend a small post-modern church where living the Missio Dei is truly practiced before being preached. Yes, it is recognizable as a conventional church replete with building, 2 services/Sunday, motely congregation, etc. but refreshingly sans all that ugly churchliness I gave up not only for Lent, but for all the remaining Liturgical calendar…

  13. Ken with respect I have found very few people ( yes even Christians) who would deny that Christianity IS a RELIGION.I know all the theory about it being a living relationship with Christ or God but lets face facts -it is practised as a religion with rituals ,rules,morality,those who are in and those who are out etc.
    I’m afraid the new Kingdom concepts don’t wash either – they are just stuck onto the usual Christianity.The Kingdom is not the Church.A heresy that many new evangelicals are following like Medieval Catholicism of old.I’m afraid that most Christians can’t face the fact that they are deeply up to their armpits in a religion with it’s own dogma and practises.On a more personal note I do not sit in the lotus position and chant mantras to a demon god ( in fact Buddists don’t believe in an exterior God).What I find appealing in their tradition is the enlightment and mystical self knowledge that most Christianity turns it’s back on.Let’s face it – some of the dreaded heretics of The New Age are closer to the message of Jesus and The Kingdom than are most self satisfied Christians.By the way do you know that the trade routes at the time of Christ would have had many religious influences especially Indian ones passing through Palestine.Some claim that some of Christ’s sayings are repeats of some of Budda’s original sayings.There is something to investigate!!Let’s not fall out over our world views but share Abba’s peace and love.

  14. Interestingly enough, Wayne Jacobson was an associate pastor at the small 4-Square church I first attended after my ‘born again epiphany’. I’m sure he would not remember me, but I think it was his brother that I was more familiar with. He attended seminary, I think ORU. Anyway, he came on board the church right after my new beginnings as a disciple. His perspective is from the pulpit/leadership position & institutional church dynamic or dysfunction side. He does know firsthand what works & what don’t. What one person senses are trappings or being smothered others do not. Wayne’s journey is not mine although I certainly can identify a lot with his writings. Somehow he makes it work. I am not convinced the reasons he concludes are universal in scope, but they are part of the emerging, post-charismatic, dispense with institutionalized church stuff that resonates with many hurting, burnt-out, tired, disappointed, frustrated saints. So maybe the definition of ‘church’ can be seen as both noun & verb? I dunno, it could be all of it intertwined in that spiritual realm that doesn’t require the empirical elements we associate with ‘church-the-noun’.

  15. Charlie:
    I really appreciate that we can have a civil discussion here. It is not my intention to ‘convert’ you to my way of thinking, but to better understand your way of thinking. I am pretty much ‘hardwired’ as an analytical thinker, and new ideas intrigue me. Please forgive me if I seem to come across as pushy or critical (at least in a pejorative manner).

    So, now you have encountered a Christian who does NOT believe that Christianity is a religion. Let me explain my way of thinking here: By Webster’s (and pretty much anybody else’s) definition, a religion is a system. Jesus refuted this, and so did Paul. In Jesus’ first written encounter with a religious leader (John 3), Jesus told Nicodemus that their religious system would never get him into the Kingdom of God – in fact the continual use of their religious system would not even enable him to see the Kingdom. It would take something else. Paul clearly indentifies what this ‘something else’ is in Ephesians 2:8-“For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith – not by works, so that no man can boast.” Grace is the single element that sets Christianity apart from all religions. It is not a system.

    Does the church utilize systems? Yes- particularly the Modern-Western model. An important element of cultural unity is that of ‘values’. Western-modernism values time and productivity very highly, and systems are extremely helpful in saving time and increasing productivity. So, the church systems that developed were cultural, not spiritual. I do not confuse the institutional church with Christianity, nor do I believe (and I can’t say that I know any Christians who do believe) that the church is the Kingdom.

    I do have a couple of questions for you. You state that “the new Kingdom concepts don’t wash either”. The Kingdom was central to Jesus’ entire message, and when He sent His disciples out, that’s what He told them to preach. Don’t you think the church would do well to seek to understand His Kingdom message and stop focusing so much about staying out of hell and getting into heaven?

    You also state “(in fact Buddists don’t believe in an exterior God).What I find appealing in their tradition is the enlightment and mystical self knowledge that most Christianity turns it’s back on”. Nothing in this statement even comes close to the teachings of the N.T. The fundamental confessions of the Christian church begin with acknowledging the existence of an exterior God. Teaching after teaching in the gospels and the Pauline letters to the church call for death to ‘self’ and that any system of knowledge is contrary to grace.

    It seems that both Buddhist thoughts you presented are contrary to Christianity, how do you reconcile them?

  16. I spent most of my life creating the structures to facilitate relationship/church and all we were ever left with in the end were lots of structure with temporary relationships. From my experience, that model sucks and so I agree with Wayne that relationship comes first.

    Churches start with everyone adhering to the supposedly God given vision of a single leader and you would think that would unite us but I think it causes more division than unity. History has shown us that the vision of man is limited and powerless in the long run. Unity comes from following the command of Christ to love one another and I can tell you from experience that the day always comes when you must choose between the command of Christ and the command of the leader. So Wayne’s right, we don’t need to start more churches.

    Wayne thinks we should follow Jesus. Sounds like good advice. He warns us against creating followers of ourselves or becoming followers of others. Its pretty simple.

    Frank Viola, on the other hand, is a little more intentional in starting organic churches. I’m not sure I want to be part of that program. This could be reactionary on my part but I haven’t got a really good grasp of ecclesiology right now. My world’s been shattered by Jesus. My church experience can no longer function as a reference point for understanding scripture. My hermeneutic has been neutered. This is a good thing, I think.

  17. David this is also my experience.

    Ken thanks for your reply.I agree Jesus spoke of the Kingdom – a restoration of true faith in Yahweh.The question is what he exactly mean’t – He certainly brought a new revelation of Yahweh’s love as that of an Abba – a papa God.Rivalry and effort to keep up with the spiritual Jones’s was ruled out.Security through the unconditional love and provision of a heavenly Father was the source for the rewired child of God.I find this message of Christ as very similar to the Buddist view of letting attachments drop aware through awareness.I would claim that this awareness can be the awareness of Abba’s love and our our connectedness to it.
    I agree that Jesus didn’t want to start a new religion but that is what has happened.The church as a concept has turned into an institution.I don’t think anyone can deny that.’ecclesia’ meant a crowd of people in New Testament Greek It was used to describe the mob who ganged up against Paul in Ephesus.The new ‘crowd ‘ that Jesus talked of has become the message and institutionalised itself over the centuries.In a scary way its message has replaced Christ’s!I find church no matter what form to be a roadblock to individual experience of the freedom of Christ’s revelation of God and how we are at one with Him.Living from the heart rather than the head gives me divine life and presence.I spoke of one who was a religious junkie within charismania and evangeical religion.Hope these thought help Ken.If you would like to know more of my thoughts get a copy of ‘The Jesus I know’ edited by adam harbinson.It’s a book of testamonies regarding experience of Jesus.I was asked to write a chapter in the book.It can be got from Columba Press at http://www.columba.ie

  18. Charlie,

    Thanks – that was very helpful. I am in full agreement with the premis of this post and the string regarding the primary importance of relationship – kind of the missing element in our discussion here. I guess it would be more helpful if we could sit and discuss this over a beverage of some sort (personally, I am into pale ales this time of the year). Again, I cannot express enough my appreciation for the civil tone that dominates this blog (thank you Grace).

  19. Thank you all. It’s been a great conversation. I haven’t had time to put down my thoughts about your comments, but I have enjoyed considering them.

  20. I think my journey so far is more ‘semi-emergent’, so I need to coin a new term for myself…

    “smergent”

    “semerging”

    Something along those lines… ;)

  21. Ken if you ever come to Ireland I’ll stand you a Guiness!!

    Thanks for the blog space Grace and your inspiring seed thoughts.

  22. Grace,

    Hey…long time. As you know, I am or have been a “church planter”. In fact, I left one church plant to return home to start another one. Well, after a year or so, I just can’t do it. Why? I look around at the many churches and I can’t answer the question: “why start another church?”

    Then it came to me that the whole language of “starting a church” is, perhaps, somewhat misguided. As was pointed out by Mr. Jacobsen, Jesus started the church. I don’t plant a church or start a church.

    Church happens…because…the church is the body of Christ…the Church IS the incarnation and wherever Jesus body exists, it must be expressed physically. So, I am not going to start a church. I couldn’t if I wanted to and it’s arrogant to think I could (give me this even if you don’t want to).

    I sort of feel like a disembodied spirit now…as if I’m Jesus in Mary’s womb…I have a body, I’m a part of the body, but I can’t see it yet. Anyway, just some thoughts.

  23. Okay I wonder, should we do door to door soulwinning. I mean alot of people get saved thanks to that. I believe in loving people, but if we love them we should give them the Gospel and yes people will hate us for our standards. by the way i’m an independent baptist.

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