Finding Church – Wayne Jacobsen

I am coming back in 2016, so stay tuned for more works and media. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

So a quick post on my latest read..I recently read ‘Finding Church’ by Wayne Jacobson, at lifestream.org. Wayne also has some wonderful free E-books you can download. They have added clearer insight into my walk about simplifying Christianity and inspiring alertness to the true desires Christ has for our lives. If you get a chance have a read over this Christmas break – give me your feedback here to start the conversation.

Blessings Daniel

findingchurch

Expanding your understanding of scripture – a sensory experience!

Typically we isolate understanding scripture to one human sense, God has given us the ability to see, hear, taste, smell and touch and I believe we can understand things deeper by using more than just one of our senses. Quite often we rely on our ministers, preachers and teaches to fullfill our sensory experience through hearing and listening. We all read scripture, but why not listen to it?

Over the last two years I have taken a keen interest in listening to scripture while driving to work and home. I have found a massive change in my understanding of scripture, my ability to focus longer while reading and obsorb more content. I would recommend that if you arnt listening to scripture in some form… your missing out on a fresh experience in Gods Word. His Word is living and real, by listening we can give full attention to what the author is saying helping us to gain a better understanding of its original context and meaning.

It is widely acknowledged that the inspirational Word was spoken and god breathed, many of the New Testament authors utalised the skills of scribes and listening diversifies the readers expression and can add greater insight.

A helpful APP I frequently use on my iphone to deliver audio books is Amazons Audible (www.audible.com)

A rich bible experience I have found extremely helpful is the award winning ‘The Bible Experience: New Testament & Old Testament inspired by the Media Group’ for more info Click Here

‘For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.’ – Isiah 55:10-11

listening

Lets Try Something Different This Week – Expression

Christians typically make everything too complex, to grand and important, we structure everything, impose rules, create guidelines and policies, we force our opinions on others, we seek for God in places based on our needs and then expect him to show up! This really needs to stop, instead of forcing him to attend our diverse portfolios of services and meetings, lets try and simplify things and invite him in our midst as we gather together. We need to shift our focus away from religiously automated programs and allow ourselves breathing room for the Holy Spirit to attend and work on us.

If your struggling from religious information overload, why not have a break and try a different approach to sharing what God is placing on your heart to equip and encourage others;

1. Gather over a early meal – (maybe a pot luck dinner) break bread together and share what Christ is doing while indulging in a feast, we all love to eat… make an excuse to enjoy some nice food together!

2.  Gather with a purpose – edify God, (truthfully and honestly) encourage and uplift one another, and seek His face in prayer and petition.

3. Gather somewhere different – doing life together requires non-meetings and gathering in different places and circumstances – as the spirit leads! Be sensitive to a place where people would feel comfortable to open up and share their story and life with you. (Note: a shared life community was never intended to just gather on a Sunday! They gathered as often as they could)

4. Gather with Christ in focus – Keep Christ as your focus and allow his spirit to minister to you. (let Christ be your topic and sustenance, don’t shift away from him.. Remember the only way we can approach our heavenly Father in through his Son – Christ Jesus)

Would love to hear how it goes! Sometimes the simplest things in life can prove to be the most important.

Hands and smiling

www.awakeninglife.com.au

Awakening In Our Gatherings – Hunter Valley NSW

In 2010 my wife and I did a hard-nosed examination of what the New Testament taught about the practice of the church. The result? The Lord threw the circuit breaker on all my religious activities. My spiritual life came to a screeching halt. And I concluded that the only way forward was to go back a step or two. I also discovered that the off-ramp wasn’t terribly hard to find for those who wished to take it.

So we began meeting with a group of Christians of like mind outside of organized religion. We quickly discovered that we were on a pretty steep learning curve. We came to learn that many of our modern-day church practices were rooted in connecting dots that the New Testament authors themselves never connected. This led us to begin knocking on the door of the “knowing Christ” that Paul so frequently spoke about in his letters. Having to learn and seek Him in Gods Word in a way we never had before.

For several long years we have been on this journey and today we are so different because of it. We are longing to gather in a Every-Member functioning community where Christ is truthfully the Head of all we do as we are built together.

We discovered what the cross was in the process and it gave NEW LIFE to what being a Christian meant.

The cross is the instrument of death. It’s the principle whereby we lay down our own life in order that the Lord’s life may be expressed. The cross means death to self (Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34–35; Luke 9:23–24). It means death to our ambitions, our preferences, our agendas, our opinions, our desires, and our wishes. For what reason? So that Jesus Christ can have His preference, His agenda, His opinion, and His desire. Body life is built on the principle of the cross. It is built on the resolute decision to live by the Lord’s own words: “Not My will, but Yours be done.”

Paraphrased and altered to coincide with our experiences.. extract from ‘Eternity To Here – Frank Viola Pg 218’

I want to hear from you if this stirs you.. its so important!

ChangesAhead

An Appeal to You – Are You In Your True Home?

 Join Our Open Facebook Discussion Group “LifeNetwork – Rediscovering Church In Australia” to discuss!

Finding Home (Taken From Frank Viola’s Book – From Eternity To Here)

 Let me be blunt: You will never rest, and you will never find “home” until you pitch your tent in the building site that God has chosen for His dwelling place. You will never properly mature as a Christian, you will never fit into any other environment, and you will never find that which matches your inward parts until you take that step. It is instinctive to your species as a Christian to freely share Christ with your fellow brothers and sisters and to hear about Christ from them. It is instinctive to your species as a Christian to live in community with other believers who are seeking to put themselves under no other Head but Jesus. It is native to your species to church together with other believers in an atmosphere of freedom, spontaneity, joy, and love. All of these things are written in the church’s genetic code. Truthfully, there is no other context in which to live the Christian life.

 You have a native habitat. It’s called the ekklesia ; God’s spiritual house. Like a Cinderella slipper, the ekklesia “fits.” It’s the missing piece of the puzzle that, once found, snaps perfectly into place. We have a biological drive for God’s house. We have a spiritual taste for it. We have a longing, a biological instinct driving us to our destiny. And we will never be satisfied until we make the decision, no matter what the cost, to be part of God’s building work. That cost may involve the loss of friends. It may mean harassment or shunning from religious leaders. It may mean vicious and ugly rumors, slander, and gossip. It may mean walking in the steps of Abraham, who left all and headed for a city that he could not see.

 It may involve selling our comfortable home and leaving our present job to relocate to another city where there are living stones who are being assembled to form God’s house. It may involve gross misunderstanding, criticism, and perhaps thornier problems like persecution.

“Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” (Heb. 13:13–14)

 I’m seeking to appeal to an instinct that is inside of you and every other Christian reading these words. What is the high calling of God for you and for me? It’s to give ourselves to God’s ageless purpose, to let Him build us together with others in the way that He has always wanted. For what reason? So that He might have His house upon this earth.

 The words of Ezra are apt: “Let the house be built!” (Ezra 6:3). I sincerely hope that this will be true in your own life.

Communion – Real Organic Communion

 

Organic Expression.. We both had decided to begin our organic journey into understanding Christ in a more intimate way, starting with the Lords Supper as a whole meal.

My wife and I sat down at our dining table on Sunday with a freshly prepared meal and a nice bottle of vintage red wine. We opened the bible at 1 Corinthians 11 and started to read through Pauls teachings to the church in Corinth where Paul was refocusing the church as they were not taking the Lords Supper correctly. It was refreshing to understand the context to which it was written and who the target audience was. Paul was speaking to a church that had basically lost their way; they were not unified as a church and were being humiliating and harmful at the Lords table. One thing that stood out to us, was the ‘living and real’ sacrifice that Christ had made for us and the longsuffering he had to endure. His broken body, and His blood that was shed for Us had a whole new meaning. Paul reminded us that we needed to be disciplined and more respectful when we approached the table for the Lords supper, understanding the reality of what Christ had done. We also talked about of our experiences with church in the past and what communion had meant to us. My wife revealed to me the process that the bread and wine had to go through before it could be prepared and served for us, both the bread and wine had to be crushed before it could be ‘transformed and made anew’ ready for us to consume. Similarly Christ, he had to be beaten, whipped and tortured before he could be presented to us ‘new and transformed’. My wife’s experiences and feelings became mine as we spoke; it was a very spiritually intimate discussion about our Lord.

 

By this stage we hadn’t even thought of eating.. we were to fragile and consumed by our ignorance, we were both unsure how to approach the Lords Supper the way he intended. The Holy Spirit worked on us and as we sat there and gazed over His Bread and His wine. I was reminded of all the times I had taken communion in church and what it had meant to me. I re-lived all my past experiences and all the times I had partaken in communion and how I had never taken out the time to truly understand what Christ meant when he said “This is my broken body.. and my blood spilled for you..”. 

 

My spirit was grieved and saddened, I broke down in tears and I wept..  I couldn’t stop.. the Holy Spirit wanted me to feel the way he did. I eventually gathered myself together and proceeded to talk to my wife about Christs Body and how we, who are In Christ (His Body), have basically reduced his Lords Supper to a thimble of grape juice and .001cent cracker! I felt sick, angry and sad. Knowing that I had been misguided and consumed by what I had been told in church for so many years, really hit me hard… I felt hurt. I broke down again … (by now you’re probably think I’m a little soft J, reality is my heart was de-hardened from the things of the past) The Holy spirit revitalised our minds, renewed our hearts and remapped our practices. What a Christ!

 

My wife and I proceeded to drink and eat in the Lords Supper.. we are now changed.. Christ is living in us and we are in a divine relationship with God because of what Jesus has done for us!

 

Lords-supper

Christ – First Place In All Things

 God wishes His son to have the supremacy, the preeminence, and the first place in all things (Col. 1:18). If we will be true to our species as Christians, we will make Jesus Christ our centrality. That’s not pious rhetoric. It’s profoundly practical. To illustrate the centrality of Christ, I would like to rehearse a story that the Lord gave my friend Mike Broadie. It goes like this.…Every year Mary, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible get together and weep. As they are weeping, Mary says, “I brought Him into this world. I gave Him life on this earth. But they have worshipped me and have stolen glory from my son.”Then the Holy Spirit speaks and says, “I did not come to speak of Myself. I did not come to reveal Myself. I came to reveal Him. I came to magnify and glorify Him. But they have made Me central.”Finally, the Bible, also weeping, speaks and says, “I came to point men and women to Him. I came to testify of Him. I came to make Him known. But they have made a god out of me.” Point: When a group of believers makes Jesus Christ central, He is reflected in their conversations, their sharing, their ministry, their meetings, their songs—and their very lives. In so many modern churches, a set of doctrines, a certain theology, a charismatic personality, a set of special works or ministries, is the centrality rather than Christ. Mark it down: The centrality of anything other than Christ is a betrayal of the new species. Extract Frank Viola’s Book – From Eternity to Here http://www.frometernitytohere.org/

 

Dream with me..

I share this dream.. what a dream it is…
 
“I have a dream that one day the church of Jesus Christ will rise up to her God-given calling and begin to live out the true meaning of her identity—which is, the very heartthrob of God Almighty—the fiancée of the King of all Kings. I have a dream that Jesus Christ will one day be Head of His church again. Not in pious rhetoric, but in reality. I have a dream that groups of Christians everywhere will begin to flesh out the New Testament reality that the church is a living organism and not an institutional organization. I have a dream that the clergy/laity divide will someday be an antique of church history, and the Lord Jesus Himself will replace the moss-laden system of human hierarchy that has usurped His authority among His people. I have a dream that multitudes of God’s people will no longer tolerate those man-made systems that have put them in religious bondage and under a pile of guilt, duty, condemnation, making them slaves to authoritarian systems and leaders. I have a dream that the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ will be the focus, the mainstay, and the pursuit of every Christian and every church. And that God’s dear people will no longer be obsessed with spiritual and religious things to the point of division. But that their obsession and pursuit would be a person—the Lord Jesus Christ. I have a dream that countless churches will be transformed from high-powered business organizations into spiritual families—authentic Christ-centred communities—where the members know one another intimately, love one another unconditionally, bleed for one another deeply, and rejoice with one another unfailingly. I have a dream today. Extract from Reimagining Church – Frank.V.”
 

Awsome Book – From Eternity to Here

From Eternity to Here – Frank Viola “A Theology of Missional Church and God’s Eternal Purpose”

Wow guys.. this book has reconfigured my thinking and approach to a Christ centred life (that is the living, real, indwelling and loving Christ!). Its a must read and a powerful ‘reality check’ for every christian, you will explore a depth never experienced before and rekindle a love for Christ and Gods Eternal Purpose. I have it in hardcopy and audio.

Extract from Franks Webpage – check it out http://www.frometernitytohere.org/

Deep within God’s Word lies a wondrous story like no other. A drama that originated before time began. An epic saga that resonates with the heartbeat of God. A story that reveals nothing less than the meaning of life and God’s great mission in the earth.

From Eternity to Here is Frank Viola’s magnum opus. It presents three remarkable stories spanning from Genesis to Revelation. Each story traces a divine theme that is woven throughout scripture. Seen together, they offer an extraordinary glimpse into God’s highest passion and grand mission. What you discover will forever change your view of life, the church, and our magnificent God.

“I just finished From Eternity To Here. I’m in process of reading it again. It has moved into my top ten books. It informs the mind with great theology. It transforms the heart because the matchless vision of Jesus and His grace. And it inspires a love for God’s eternal purpose, the Church by inviting others to experience God’s eternal purpose. Brilliant.” 

DERWIN GRAY, lead pastor of Transformation Church.

The Missio Dei – From Eternity To Here

This a long one guys.. but has great content for those seeking knowledge about Jesus and His Church

The Missio Dei

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 04:51 AM PST – Extract from Frank Viola’s Blog (Go To http://frankviola.org/)

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

~ Matthew 6:10

As long as I’ve been a Christian, I’ve noted two things that believers routinely get riled up about. One is the role of the Spirit vs. the role of the Scriptures. Christians seem to fall off one side of the horse or the other on this issue.

Over the years, I’ve watched countless fruitless Word vs. Spirit debates that descended into noise. They are fruitless because both the Scriptures and the Spirit work together. And what God has joined together shouldn’t be separated. When I watch people debate this issue today, I quickly begin yawning.

In the same way, I’ve watched countless Christians get roped into fruitless outreach vs. inreach debates. Some maintain that the church exists for outreach (these churches tend to have a rather thin and spiritually shallow community life). Others object that the church exists for community (these churches tend to be insular and ingrown).

The outreach vs. inreach debate is fruitless because it virtually always ignores two things. (1) That an authentic church will pass through seasons (I’ve discussed the seasonal nature of the ekklesia at length in Finding Organic Church), and (2) There are four chief aspects of the church’s mission on earth, all of which are vital.

It is the latter that I wish to focus on in this post. I almost broke this post up into two parts, but right or wrong, I decided to keep it all together. It will be easier to share that way. Future posts will be shorter.  

The big sweeping epic of God’s timeless purpose is centered on a bride, a house, a body, and a family. These four elements make up the grand narrative of the Bible. The mission of God—the Missio Dei—is wrapped up with each of them.

God’s mission demands more than a theological head-nod of agreement. It demands practical expression. The Lord wants a people who embody the bride, the house, the body, and the family in every city on this planet.

In this post and the next, we will briefly explore the practical question of what it looks like when a local fellowship of believers fulfills what God is after and His eternal purpose moves from eternity to here.

Communion

As the bride of Christ, the church is called to commune with, love, enthrone, and intimately know the heavenly Bridegroom who indwells her.

Churches that excel in the bridal dimension give time and attention to spiritual fellowship with the Lord. Worship is a priority.

Seeking the Lord, loving Him, communing with Him, and encountering Him are central.

The means of love-filled communion are many: prayer (in all of its forms), meditation (contemplation), worship through song, taking the Lord’s Supper, interacting with the Lord through Scripture, etc.

Such means are not only to be practiced by individual members, but by the church corporately and/or in small groups.

Imagine a church where the members pair off during the week—brothers with brothers and sisters with sisters. They seek the Lord together. Sometimes they will do this in groups of three, four, and more. What are they doing in these groups? They are allowing Christ to love them and they are turning that love back to Him.

They are also learning how to live by divine life. The church lives by the life of Christ. Jesus Christ is the source of the bride’s life. God’s purpose is that Christians live by His indwelling life.

This is something that must be learned and practiced. The bridal dimension of the church makes such living a concrete reality. In fact, this dimension of the church can be seen as the engine that drives all of the church’s activities. It is love from Christ and for Christ that is the church’s motivation, energy, and life.

The bridal dimension of the church is not peripheral. It’s central to the church’s life and mission.

Corporate Display

The church is called to gather together regularly to display God’s life through the ministry of every believer. How? Not by religious services where a few people perform before a passive audience. But in open-participatory meetings where every member of the believing priesthood functions, ministers, and expresses the living God in an open-participatory atmosphere (1 Cor. 14:26; 1 Peter 2:5; Heb. 10:24–25; etc.).

God dwells in every Christian and can inspire any of us to share something that comes from Him with the church. In the first century, every Christian had both the right and the privilege of speaking to the community. This is the practical expression of the New Testament doctrine of the priesthood of all believers.

The open-participatory church meeting was the common gathering of the early church. Its purpose? To edify the entire church and to display, express, and reveal the Lord through the members of the body to principalities and powers in heavenly places (Eph. 3:8–11).

Today, many churches are stuck with only one kind of church service where a few people minister to a largely passive audience.

But such services do not display Christ through the every-member functioning of His body.

Equally so, they don’t display the Headship of Christ, because He is not leading the meeting by His Spirit. Instead, human headship directs what happens, who participates, and when.

I’ve written on this extensively in my book Reimagining Church. Suffice it to say that every church should have a venue for the free-yet orderly functioning of every member of the house of God whereby each Christian offers spiritual sacrifices to God and ministers to the body.

Through such meetings, God in Christ is made visible and the whole church is built up.

This dimension of the church is not peripheral. It’s central to the church’s life and mission.

Community Life

Properly conceived, the church is a colony from heaven that has descended on earth to display the life of God’s kingdom.

By its way of life, its values, and its interpersonal relationships, the church lives as a countercultural outpost of the future kingdom—a kingdom that will eventually fill the whole earth “as the waters cover the sea.”

God’s ultimate purpose is to reconcile the universe under the lordship of Jesus Christ (Col. 1:20; Eph. 1:10). As the community of the King, the church stands in the earth as the masterpiece of that reconciliation and the pilot project of the reconciled universe.

In the church, therefore, the Jewish-Gentile barrier has been demolished, as well as all barriers of race, culture, sex, etc. (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:16).

The church lives and acts as the new humanity on earth that reflects the community of the Godhead.

Thus when those in the world see a group of Christians from different cultures and races loving one another, caring for one another, meeting one another’s needs, living against the current trends of this world that give allegiance to other gods instead of to the world’s true Lord, Jesus Christ, they are watching the life of the future kingdom lived out on earth in the present.

As Stanley Grenz once put it, “The church is the pioneer community. It points toward the future God has in store for His creation.”

It is this “kingdom community” that turned the Roman Empire on its ear. Here was a people who possessed joy, who loved one another deeply, who made decisions by consensus, who handled their own problems, who married each other, who met one another’s financial needs, and who buried one another.

This community was living in the presence of the future. It showed the world what the future kingdom of God will look like, when Jesus Christ will be running the entire show.

The church’s allegiance was exclusively given to the new Caesar, the Lord Jesus, and she lived by His rule. As a result, the response by her pagan neighbors was, “Behold, how they love one another!”

We live in a day when the Western church has enshrined rugged individualism and independence. As such, many modern churches are not authentic communities that are embodying the family of God. Instead, they are institutional organizations that operate as a hybrid of General Motors and the Rotary Club.

The spiritual DNA of the church will always lead its members toward authentic, viable community. It will always lead Christians to live a shared life through the Holy Spirit that expresses the life and values of Jesus Christ. In other words, it will live as the family of God.

In this way, the church becomes the visible image of the triune God. By sharing in the communion of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, the church puts God’s love on public display. It becomes His family in the earth in reality.

The family dimension of the church is not peripheral. It’s central to the church’s life and mission.

Commission

As we have already seen, when Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, He chose to express Himself through a body to continue His life and ministry on earth. As the body of Christ, the church not only cares for its own, but it also cares for the world that surrounds it. Just as Jesus did while He was on earth.

The pages of history are filled with stories of how the early Christians took care of the poor, stood for those who suffered injustice, and met the needs of those who were dying by famine or plague.

In other words, the early Christian communities cared for their non-Christian neighbors who were suffering.

Not a few times a plague would sweep through a city, and all the pagans left town immediately, leaving their loved ones to die. That included the physicians. But it was the Christians who stayed behind and tended to their needs, sometimes even dying in the process.

One of the Roman emperors, a pagan, publicly lamented that the pagan temples were losing customers because “the Christians not only take care of their own needy, but ours as well!”

The book of Acts and the epistles of Paul, Peter, James, and John abound with examples and exhortations of how the church cared for the world. This particular theme is peppered throughout the New Testament documents. (Quoting all those texts would demand another book.)

In short, the early church understood that she was carrying on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. She well understood that He was the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).

That ministry is enunciated in Luke 4:18–19: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

We meet it again in Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

Throughout His ministry, Jesus showed what the kingdom of God was all about by loving outcasts, befriending the oppressed, healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, caring for the poor, driving out demons, forgiving sins, etc.

If you peel back His miracles, the common denominator underneath them all is that He was alleviating human suffering and showing forth what the future kingdom of God looks like.

When Jesus did His miracles, He was indicating that He was reversing the effects of the curse.

In Jesus’ ministry, a bit of the future had penetrated the present. Jesus embodied the future kingdom of God where human suffering will be eradicated and there will be peace, justice, freedom, and joy.

The church, which is His body in the world, carries on this ministry. It stands on the earth as a sign of the coming kingdom.

The church lives and acts in the reality that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the world today. It lives in the presence of the future … in the already-but-not-yet of the kingdom of God.

For this reason, the church is commissioned to proclaim and embody the kingdom now—to bring a bit of the new creation into the old creation, to bring a piece of heaven into the earth—demonstrating to the world what it will look like when God is calling the shots. In the life of the church, God’s future has already begun.

This dimension of the church’s mission has to do with how she displays the Christ who indwells her to those outside of her. It has to do with how she expresses Christ to the world.

Jesus fulfilled the mission of Israel in His earthly ministry (Gen. 18:18). But since His resurrection, He has commissioned the church to continue that mission.

Hence, the church exists to fulfill Israel’s original calling to be a “blessing to all the nations,” to bring “glad tidings, good news [the gospel] to the poor” and to be a “light to the world” (Gen. 22:18; Isa. 49:6; 52:7).

The church stands in the earth as the new Israel (Gal. 6:16). And she shows forth that the Jesus who walked this earth is the same Christ who has taken up residence within her members.

This dimension of the church is not peripheral. It’s central to the church’s life and mission. 

Summary

So how does a local church carry out the Missio Dei . . . the ageless purpose of God?

Very simply: by loving the Lord Jesus as His bride and learning to live by His indwelling life (communion).

By edifying its members through displaying the Lord Jesus as functioning priests in God’s house and as participating members of Christ’s body (corporate display).

By living a shared life as the family of God, visibly demonstrating what the kingdom of God is like to a broken world (community life).

And by expressing God’s image and exercising His authority in the earth—the very things that the first Adam was charged to do in the garden (commission).

What then is God’s end? What is His grand mission?

It’s to expand the life and love that’s in the Trinitarian Community. It’s to increase the fellowship of the Godhead and reflect it on earth. This is the goal of evangelism. This is the goal of all of the church’s activities.

This is God’s dream, His eternal purpose. To obtain a bride, a house, a family, and a body that is by Him, through Him, and to Him.

The kingdom of God, which is the equivalent of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, is toward that end as well. This ought to give us a new view of the church and of God’s mission for the planet. And that view should lead us to a complete recalibration of how the church expresses herself in the earth.

As I have said elsewhere, God’s ultimate purpose begins in Genesis 1 before the fall, not in Genesis 3 after the fall. Failure to understand this has been the fundamental flaw of evangelicalism and much of the modern day missional movement.

To meet the beating heart of God, we must go back before the fall to discover afresh God’s original intent. Doing so will change everything.

People want real examples of Organic Church Life!

I responded to a blog by Alan Knox, please read these articles to gain more insight into organic church life!

“Hi all, Im from down under! (Australia) I have read most of Franks books on organic church life. I havent been attending an institutional church (came from both baptist and pentecostal circles) for over 3 years now. We are striving toward gathering like the following;

“The Organic Church. This is a living, vibrant face to face community that has no other pursuit but Jesus Christ Himself. Members are being “built together” into Christ the Head, they are experiencing the cross of Jesus, they are discovering how to live by His indwelling life, and they are fleshing out the biblical vision that the church is the family of God. Such churches are a testimony to the world, to one another, and to the principalities and powers that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed alive – alive enough to be Head over His own church. Christ is the church’s centrality. He is her passion. He is, as it were, her obsession. Members specialize in nothing – except Christ. Their goal is to make Him visible in their community. Their Hallmark is their growing desire is their growing knowledge of the Lord. Their testimony is their openness to all of God’s people, their humility, and their unmistakable love for one another.” – paraphrased summary from Frank Viola’s books

It hasnt happened yet for us as Frank depicts but I know it will. I know of many ‘christ-centred’ families and followers that no longer attend church for a whole pile of reasons. Primarily because the church they attend, seems to have lost sight of Jesus and being built up together as the body of Christ. They are turning more into’inward looking’ sects and have lost their kingdom view (Im generalising but have experienced this in the few churches I have been attending over the last 15 years)

Its early days yet, but we are seeing crowds of christians here in Australia move away from traditional ‘pulpit-pew’ churches and are attempting to gather in simple-church style gatherings. The picture Viola creates is very unique and it does speak of a functional new testament church that is vibrant and living in Christ.

The biggest hinderance to people gathering as the ‘organic expression of the body of christ’ is the instutional mindset they have spent most of their life being taught to function like and within. My understanding is that people need to go through a ‘wilderness’ type experience to de-institutionalise themselves from traditional church thinking and practices. It hard to refocus on new testament expression of church when we have grown up in our times and its embedded within our thinking, we tend to ‘default’ to that thinking.

I am already seeing the fruits of the spirit in several groups we are attending, they are refocusing their lives on Christ and re-learning to encourage and love-another. Finally we are starting to see the gifts of the spirit being used how 1 Corinthians intended, founded on love and unity in Christ Jesus. I am praying we will soon have multiple gatherings that will be equipped to function like Viola’s books. Hopefully the landscape of the way we do ‘church’ will change forever!

Note. In no way do I mean to be-little or attack institutional church goers, I believe God works in and through all believers who are committed to Christ… I am only speaking of the ‘ekklesia’ above.
God Bless. Daniel”

http://www.alanknox.net/2012/01/people-want-real-example-of-organic-church-life/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=people-want-real-example-of-organic-church-life