Friday, April 9, 2010

The Forgotten Ways

In February of this year, I attended 2 conferences in consecutive weeks ... not for the faint of heart! I am out of practice when it comes to conferences, and generally out of desire, so 2 in 2 weeks was a bit of overload. However, they became occasions where I sensed the Lord speaking.

At the first, our AMiA Winter Conference in Greensboro, NC, the theme of Paul's 2nd missionary journey captured my imagination. We have been at this Simple Church thing for about 4 years now during which we have grown, learned some things, and seen God move. It now feels like time to build upon this and go further and deeper.

The second conference was here in Austin - Verge - and was built around Alan Hirsch's book, "The Forgotten Ways". I had read the book soon after it's publication, yet in reconnecting with it's contents, I again sensed that this was a part of the puzzle, and that it's message was important for us at BridgePoint. So, as a leadership community, we have begun a process of prayer, discernment and conversation around the themes raised in the book.

They are as follows:-
  1. Jesus is Lord
  2. Disciple Making
  3. Missional Incarnational Impulse
  4. Apostolic Environment
  5. Organic Systems
  6. 'Communitas' not 'Community'
More details on these to follow, but for now we're taking one topic a month, reading, hanging out, talking and praying about the implications of each subject. My hope through this process is that we will get to know each other better, hear God, grow, and develop some community practices or disciplines to help us become what God desires for us.

During our first get together to just introduce the process and set some ground rules, one of our (rather bright) guys who is working on his PhD in Biomedical Engineering, spoke about how he was looking at ways in which he could bridge the gaps that can emerge in people's nervous system that prevent the peripheral parts of their body communicating with the brain (or something like that!) It occurred to me that this is what 'The Forgotten Ways' is all about. Helping us to reconnect with the Church's original identity and purpose, and especially with it's Head, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are seeking to remember and reconnect with that which God has already placed within us through His Spirit. What Alan calls the "missional DNA or mDNA of the Church. I am excited about the journey and the people God has us with. I look forward to sharing our discoveries and experiences together.