Sunday, February 10, 2008

Plant

Can a blog become a church?

Not sure. But they could share a name...

A little over a year ago, the Convergence blog made its debut. The entry was called "A New Adventure," and it described exactly how I felt. I talked about bike rides when I was twelve, and how I loved to explore places that I'd ever been. I guess I've always been a sucker for a good adventure.

As I explained in that first entry, I could never have described it then, but as I look back on all the incredible adventures, I think those feelings were stirred because I was at a point of convergence. You can see one definition of that word above- every time you log on to this site. But according to WordReference.com, “convergence” can also be defined as “the occurrence of two or more things coming together.” It is a “meeting place” of sorts.

My life in Christ has been an ongoing series of these moments, and the feelings of adventure and excitement have been joined (and possibly intensified) by a passion to share the amazing gift of the Gospel with people who don’t know Jesus. But just when I think my experience, wisdom, or understanding has grown a little, I have been met by new challenges and further sections of the trail, waiting to be explored. Sometimes these challenges appear purely as obstacles to be overcome. At other times they are opportunities.


At each new stage, I am reminded of my inadequacy. I feel like that twelve year old again, hesitating at the edge of the unknown, feeling very small and weak. But in my better moments, I am also reminded that “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9. NIV Translation)."

If it is true that a "leader’s inadequacy finds resolution only in the grace of God (David Faust, Growing Churches, Growing Leaders, (Joplin: College Press Publishing Co., 1994), 126)," then it would seem that it is in the facing of these very challenges that we will find our Savior’s gracious hand, guiding us forward in His strength. I am trusting in that strength as I journey toward the opportunity to plant a new church.


It is far beyond the scope of any human to establish a new body of Christ, purely based on their own strengths and abilities. Jesus’ words to Peter in Matthew 16:18 tell us that the church will be built on the rock (petra), in which he refers to Himself. This is in response to Peter’s confession that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of God, living with them in the flesh. In comparison we, like Peter (petros), are more like small stones, or pebbles. People need the guidance, power and blessing of the triune God to plant a new church. But people however, do without a doubt have a contribution to make.


I believe that a healthy, thriving church can be rooted in a simple process. It can be birthed, grow, and reproduce by focusing primarily on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. This process can be seen not only in the life of the church as a whole, it can be observed and measured within the context of the individual disciples that make up the larger body. This process can be expressed in a simple mission statement that encourages the believer to “Love God, Live in Community, and Serve the World.”

Love. Live. Serve.

I do not feel worthy of this amazing opportunity. But I know that “we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (2Corinthians 4:7 NIV Translation).” When I replace my frailty with God’s strength, what is left is the potential to see, as author Randy Pope says, “a place where the presence of God’s power is demonstrated with such force that the community in which it exists is marked with an indelible spiritual imprint (The Prevailing Church, (Chicago: Moody Press, 2002), 20).”


The thought of seeing such place become a reality is in itself a point of convergence. As a matter of fact, "Convergence" is again one of the best words I can think of to describe what I'm talking about. Just imagine: the opportunity to establish a body of Christ, built on a simple process that invites believers as well as the spiritually curious to "come together" with the living God into an ever-increasing relationship.

Now that's what I call Convergence.

In Him We Live,

Jeff

2 comments:

Amy said...

The answer to your first question...
Yes.
The church is not a place, the church is da peoples! In the sharing of our hearts we hopefully become closer to each other and also with Him.

Can't wait to see where God takes us next!

Love,
Amy

Fred said...

simple church.
live. love. serve.

convergence is a great name that, i believe, adequately describes, not only a diverse people coming together as a body of Christ. but also, the great banquet feast in heaven...can you just imagine the convergence taking place in eternity.

badop-bop-bob-bah...i'm lovin' it.