Monday, September 21, 2009

Finding Balance

I'm still reading and enjoying the book "The Rabbit and The Elephant - Why Small is the New Big for Today's Church" by Tony and Felicity Dale and George Barna.

In a discussion about "The Values That Define Us" there is a needed caveat for those who may become prone to smugness. But it is followed by another courageous observation about the M.O. most conventional churches operate with.

I must confess that it is easier to view the challenge from an outside-looking-in perspective than it is when trees hide a forest. I recall squirming in my seat hearing such observations during seminars with Reggie McNeal and George Barna when I was in that proverbial forest not that long ago.
Any of us who think that we have all the answers or that we are 'where things are really happening' are merely deluding ourselves. A synergy occurs when we lay aside our differences and work together across the body of Christ.

Christians in the West have followed the gods of the American dream of materialism, or popularity, of numbers. We have become performance driven rather than love motivated. We give Jesus the title of "Lord" or "Head of the Church," but in reality, we devise our own plans and then ask Him to bless them. We build buildings and create programs, following the advice of church-growth statisticians, and then we expect the Holy Spirit to come in power. And when, in His great mercy, He delights to bless us through some of these things, we presume that we have built His dream church. How can we have fooled ourselves so badly?

I would like to publicly acknowledge and express gratitude toward Trinity Fellowship of Hickory - under the leadership of Dodd Drake - for recognizing and proactively supporting Java Journey. TF has prayed for JJ and promoted our cause. Many have volunteered to spend time and energy on the build out effort.

The family of Safe Harbor Rescue Mission has also spent many hours helping JJ prepare to launch.

This is the kind of synergy mentioned in the quotation. Both ministries have not caved into the M.O. of growing big just to grow big.

I pray that more of this will happen across the American ecclesiastical landscape.

1 comment:

Tony Dale said...

It is so encouraging to read how the Lord is using R&E to encourage and challenge you in your journey. How vital it is that we all remain wide open to the good things He is doing throughout His church, whatever the model!
Tony Dale