July 05, 2007

Sanitized Travel Journal - Part IV

On the train from Kunming to Beijing...early June 2007...
Finished reading The way in is the Way On…some random thoughts, not sure where Wimber ends, and I start…

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feel the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God and to devote the will to the purpose of God.
- William Temple (19th century Archbishop of Canterbury)

*if you want to know what you worship, ask yourself, ‘where do I spend my time? my money? my energy?’, that will tell you what you worship.

There’s nothing more practical that a good idea.
- G.K. Chesterton

Train people to continue the kingdom ministry of Jesus (Luke 4:18-19).
Our primary aim in life is to love and glorify God, participating in the expansion of His kingdom in relevant way in the time allotted us.

The Spirit empowers for a purpose – not just an experience.
Our passion to imitate the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Spirit remains. This requires that we follow Jesus out of baptismal waters, through our personal deserts, and into the harvest.

balanced evangelical theology & mainstream Pentecostal practice
---> a biblical target of making and nurturing disciples.

The Art of Listening (as Jesus modeled) ---> John 5:19,30

My hope is to remain a Christ-centered group focused on the main teachings of scripture…following Augustine’s advice, “In essentials unity, in nonessentials diversity, in all things charity.”

Have you noticed the zeal of converts?...
They are blind to flaws and see only the beauty of the vision of their leader (whether historic or contemporary) and the truth within the teachings and practices of their group.

The natural tendency is to think that what you commit to is best, and if it nurtures you, then it obviously is the best, right?

Groups easily take on a “true church” attitude even if they formally deny it, and begin expending their energy defining who is “in and out.”

All too often, groups evolve from a loose, casual association to rigid adherence to insight from a set theory.

Our purpose is to evangelize the lost, enfold them in new churches, equip them to know and exalt Jesus in every area of life, expanding God’s Kingdom through continuing God’s ministry.

3 comments:

Steve S. said...

"expending energy defining who is "in and out""

...and Jesus just turns this whole thing inside out!

That is one of the things about Him that is so atractive and repulsive at the same time!

...I love that He is this way, but I tremble that it means that I have to be this way too, and hate that it exposes me when I am not (sometimes, not all the time, and by His grace less of the time).

We are supposed to be the group that exists for those outside of it...


...I have been reading a TON of NT Wright lately and he refuses to discuss Jesus outside of the context of the call of Israel to be a source of blessing to the world; a call which Jesus personally fulfilled, which evidenced the failure of Israel to fulfill it (until, of course, Jesus could fulfill that call on behalf of Israel).

So...

...Israel was to be a nation that existed for the purpose of blessing other nations.

...the Church is to be a community of people that exist for the purpose of blessing other people and other communities.

How are we doing?

How am I doing?

DeMar said...

We’re doin’ okay, and I imagine you’re doin’ just right…we will fall short in the struggle, it’s a good thing Jesus’ is driving.
I dig NT as well, but I just call him Tom.

The church exists for the purpose of blessing other people and communities.
Yes…in part.
But understanding the ‘doing’ of church (the what), doesn’t get to the how and why. The what gives us portions of the process. But more than ‘blessing’, our primary aim in life is to love and glorify God, participating in the expansion of His kingdom in relevant way in the time allotted us, and to train people to continue the kingdom ministry of Jesus.

I’m an alcoholic. Simply knowing and understanding that I need to be sober, and refusing to discuss the ‘context’ outside of that (e.g. drunk), can be short sighted. And so it is with the church, and the people in it…messy, with scraped foreheads and over-thought sensitivities.

My jaded discerner often reads - ‘A purpose for the church is a ‘good idea’, but you want me to leave the comfort of my bean-bag? Why can’t I just continually matriculate in the ‘good idea’ – safe, scared and alone [as I’ve made myself believe is okay] – rather than sharing a heart with community and God?’ And in this we lead.

I tell you Steve-o, I’m sortin’ though the decisions that got me here…and it’s pretty funny.

Steve S. said...

If you ever stop laughing...


THEN, my friend, you are in trouble!