Ok, I could have called this post: Kingdom Transformational Model for Communities. But, who would have read it? Got ya!
So, this the goal: To see the Restoration of All Things. We need a simple and effective start.
My friend Bill has boiled things down to an essence. He said, and I fully agree, that we live in three dimensions:
But, sadly, these dimensions barely touch. At some point, Christian life and Community life took different paths. And, at some point our faith was jettisoned from Country: Government and Politics. We're supposed to be salt and light: making disciplined followers of all nations, starting here, teaching people to love God and love their neigbor. This kingdom impact is for us and also for our Community and our Country ~ then on to the rest of the Nations. So, how is this working out for our Country? It's not. Turn on the news - you won't hear much about a Kingdom impact across our land. You won't hear about it because it is not happening. Choas has been multiplying: in our families, communities, in politics, in economics. The destroyer is walking our land almost unchallenged. The news is telling us about it, every day and in every way. We need to see the Restoration of All Things in our crumbling society.
Now, let's think this through. God has alway had the same plan, that his widsom and influence come from his body, the Church.
So, what is the Simple Start?
First we need to understand what the church is and is not. The church is not you. The church is not me. The church is 'us' - joined and knit together. And, the church has a 'core unit'. A core unit is the unit that has everything it needs to function. A congregation does not usually have everything it needs to function. I have some excellent powerpoints to explain this HERE
In the scripture we see the church referred to again and again: The Church in Ephasus, The Church in Corinth. I am going to ask you to do something that is hard to do... we need to picture something that we don't see... Oh, it something we say we 'believe' but it is NOT something that we 'do'... I want you to picture the Church coming together in communities across our naton to advance His Kingdom.
This is what we need to picture: The Core Unit, the Church in the Community, coming together and impacting the 3 diminsions above:
It is so different than what we see today, it is hard to get our head around it. But, it is really quite simple. Working together, with God's GRACE and WISDOM (which He HAS PROMISED TO GIVE US!) we can see His Kingdom advance. We can see The Restoration of All Things in our churches, our communities and in our country.
How do we do it? Well, let's do what the early church did... They devoted themselves to Prayer, Fellowship, the Breaking of Bread and the Apostles teaching. I wrote an nice description of this HERE
To some extent, currently we pray, we fellowship and we break bread. But, as the Church in the Community, we need to work on the 'apostles teaching' part. The apostle teaches us about starting new works and strengthing the foundation of existing works. This function works best if we also hear from those who have a keen sense of what God's saying right now; They understand to some extent what God's intentions are - where the cloud is moving, the prophetic if you will.
We can't work together on what we can't see.
So - this is the simplicity of it all...
One, we come together, the Church in the Community.
Two, we make make ministry visible. I call this "Mapping the Ministry Stream."
Three, we do it. From understanding where we are now and what God intends- we step forward and do it.
A simple start.
And, what we are doing in the Endless Mountains. More information here...