Over the past six years Mission-link has been on a journey in the “school” of Jesus Christ, with the purpose of distilling and purifying our understanding of His vision for the His Body, the Church.
We have engaged this mission in many ways:
- Held gatherings in rented space
- Met house to house
- Had leadership retreats and training days
- Committed ourselves to weekly discipling groups (Triads)
- Held open meetings in parks
- Served in the community
- Facilitated an Alpha Course
- Had a booth at the County Fair
- Hosted a showing of the anti-trafficking documentary “Nepharious”
- Hosted spiritual warfare workshops
- Held teaching work-shops in rented space
In 2009, we began with a vision that was detailed out in an eleven page outline. Within six months we scrapped this, based on all we realized that was not relevant about the vision… And we continued to evaluate all that we did.
At this point we are continuing to walk in those things which have proved to bear fruit with consistency – the items that are highlighted above, and more specifically, apostolic teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer.
We have discovered that when we sense we have heard God’s direction, staying that course requires a “narrative” that reminds us what we have heard. For example, we have an introduction for our fellowship gatherings:
“This is a simple gathering of Jesus-followers for teaching, fellowship, sharing of a meal, and prayer – not necessarily in that order. We are “notorious sinners” who share one thing in common: We have been drawn to Jesus by the Spirit of God, and have agreed with Him that Jesus is our life and our only hope, and greatest treasure. We are defined by this – not by our meetings.
Our most important connections here are our discipling groups, where 2-4 of us meet to learn how to give and receive grace, how to be vulnerable, and how to tell the truth – essentially, how to be friends.
We live in the benefit of the promise that where ever at least two or three are gathered “in His Name” (under Jesus’ authority, agreeing that He is Lord) that He is personally present. We have come to meet with Him this way right now – and He is the only “Lord” and “Savior” in this room.”
We expect that this kind of navigational tool will be needed for other rhythms we engage in – and especially for those that have the appearance of events that are practiced by other churches, but for different purposes.
NEXT STEPS – PUBLIC FORUM: TEACHING AND WITNESS
This leads us to the ministry of teaching and witness in a public forum. We are seeing together that the Spirit of God is leading us to begin a public teaching/discourse in a location that is more neutral and accessible than our private homes. We know that this will appear more like traditional church, and so we will need a statement to end each session that clearly sets out the following points:
- This is not discipleship, but only one of several rhythms in the life of a Jesus follower – While this is a place that many may hear the voice of God through the teaching of Scripture, it is only a starting point for what truly defines a Christ follower: Discipleship
- If you have heard the voice of God calling you to receive and/or follow Jesus Christ, you cannot do that solely by coming here to a teaching session – He calls us to be disciples.
- That there are several fellowship groups that meet in homes. These are represented by those you see standing right now, and any of them would be glad to have your company at their next gathering where you will find others who are engaged in discipleship. They are here and ready to connect.