To start with I want to clarify that when we’re talking about “church” in this section of Kingdomology, we’re talking about the CHURCH universal. We’re talking about the connection that all Christ followers have across the world and for all time. We’re not talking about a local body of believers like First Christian Church in Liverpool, NY. In other words, these are the folks who live in different parts of the world and from different time frames that may or may not have slightly different scriptural interpretations than me, but are still in the same family of God by grace alone. We’re still Kingdom of Heaven Citizens. I do believe there is a place for local body church membership. But that’s another post. For now though, there is another point which the Bible includes as being part of the admission to God’s Church, and that point deals with ‘repentance.”
Ok, it’s been a while since we’ve talked “Church Talk” so I’m a bit over due. So here we go and I’ll try not to make it too heady. Now, we’ve seen that the CHURCH in its truest form is a lot more than just showing up to some building on Sunday morning. The Church is a gathered body of Christ followers, called out from the world for Him. They then act out His mission on earth today. They are part of Him; or, in him. So the question for today, actually for a few days, is how does one become part of such a revolutionary group of folks?
I’m excited about attending an upcoming “Turbo” church planting event at NorthWood Church in Keller this Thursday. The lead presenter is a guy named Bob Robertswho has been used by God in a great way not only to plant NorthWood over 20 years ago, but to assist in and send out over a hundred planters. I’m looking forward to gleaning some more wisdom on the subject and exploring more into the future direction God is calling us to. One thing that I am convinced of is that we are going to be involved in church planting whether that’s doing another plant or leading an established church into this realm of service. Along those lines, I’ve been asked a few times if there’s really a need for such a thing, especially in an area like DFW which has “tons of churches”. I’ve always told folks asking that it’s a good question and then given them some things to chew on. Without too much research, here are just four reasons for planting that immediately come to mind.
Ok, show of hands here. How many of you had the burden of memorizing seemingly useless poetry in Junior High School? Yup, me too. But to this day there are a few of those old classic jewels that still stick in my head. One of those was by Emily Dickinson and it went to the tune of, “A word is dead when it is said some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” Now, in addition to the simple fact that the poem is short, I also remember it because it actually says something. I tend to agree with dear old Emily that words are powerful and have the ability to do good or evil. Just ask any elementary school kid on the playground that gets called names. I’ve had my share of complements and ridicules growing up so I know all about it. But when it comes to real names, I like mine. There have been times that I’ve thought of the Stephen in Acts Chapter 7 who was martyred for the Faith. Stephen was a man of great faith who laid it on the line to the point of death. That makes me proud. Some folks have shortened the name to six letters making it, “Steven”, but I would never submit to such a heresy. In fact, I actually draw encouragement from the man who went before me and gave his life for Christ. Names can do that. They can bring boldness and also they can cause discouragement.
But what kind of thoughts and feelings come to mind when you hear the name “Church”?
Well things are rolling right along in our transition time between the church plant and the next Kingdom Adventure God has for us. The kids are in good schools. Deb is working in a school library; which she loves. I’m picking up odd jobs, interim opportunities, and some other ministry projects as we wait on God’s timing and move. Still looking for clarification as to whether we need to move into another plant or take an established preaching position and focus on sending others out. But during this time I’m also taking in things around my boyhood home here in Amarillo. Like Paul, I’ve looked around at the city’s Objects of Worship and have come across a number of signs like the one shown here. While I do agree with the scripture on the sign, I’m not sure that’s the best way to win people to the love of Christ. Might as well just get a bull horn and tell everyone on Polk Street that they’re going to Hell. While there is a time and place for truth and clearly articulating the gravity of sin, I don’t think that sticking a sign like this in my yard is actually going to awaken my neighbors need for Christ’s love. More than likely, whoever owns that placard is going to just be set aside on the mantel as another “religious nut” from the mid-west. Seems like a better approach is to get involved in people’s lives, love on them, and then get some healthy dialogue going. How do you go about talking about issues like sin with people who don’t use that kind of vocabulary much?
Welcome to our first official posting on “Kingdomology”, a site dedicated to expanding the love of Christ and Kingdom of God the world over. While we’re anticipating a lot of really great discussion, the purpose of this site is to encourage as many people as possible toward experiencing what it really means to live as citizens in the Kingdom of God.
Over the next few weeks I’ll spend more time further expanding on the purpose of Kingdomology, but to begin with, I want to explain more about how this blog came about.