Archives for category: Quotes

I ett nyhetsmail från CMA Resources skriver Neil Cole (författaren till bland annat Organic Church) några riktigt tänkvärda tankar om att präglas (imprint) av Jesus…

We want people to imprint on Christ from day one. Imprinting is a term from ornithology, the study of birds. When a baby gosling hatches, it imprints on the first moving object it sees. That object becomes its mother, and the gosling expects to be fed and protected by it.

When a person comes to faith in Christ, most churches tell them to just sit back and receive. They’re spoon fed by the church. And what happens? They imprint on the church or the pastor. They expect the church to do everything. And we wonder why there are so many passive Christians.

There is an alternative.  Christ immediately deployed people. Matthew was back with his friends. The Samaritan woman went back to her village. When a brand new Christian is thrust into a hostile environment with a mission, they’re going to pray like crazy. That makes them imprint on Christ immediately. – Neil Cole

Mycket tänkvärt enligt min mening.

Neil Cole ska för övrigt komma till Norge i vår (tror det är något som DAWN Norge arrangerar), hoppas att kunna åka dit och lyssna på honom.

Just nu behöver jag lägga ner mycket tid på min avhandling samt diverse undervisningsuppdrag så det finns inte mycket tid över till bloggande och dylika aktiviteter… Här kommer i alla fall ytterligare ett citat, något att fundera på och meditera över. Angående skillnaden mellan “believe” och “faith”…

We can believe something to be true without it making much difference to us, but we place our faith only in something that is vital for the way we live. – Harvey Cox

HT: theresurgence.com

Idag är det exakt ett år sen jag skrev min första bloggpost! Firar detta med följande citat från Shapevines nyhetsbrev…

A missional faith community will have an impact to the degree that it has developed genuine disciples that view their lives as being sent out to be and make disciples. – Lance Ford

En utmaning vi som kyrka i detta land inte kan blunda för. Det är på detta mycket står och faller, vare sig vi är del av en etablerad församling eller en nystartad församlingsplantering. Gud hjälp oss.

 

“The work of Jesus was not a new set of ideals or principles for reforming or even revolutionizing society, but the establishment of a new community, a people that embodied forgiveness, sharing, and self-sacrificing love in its rituals and discipline. In that sense, the visable church is not to be the bearer of Christ’s message, but to be the message.”
                                                              – John Howard Yoder

Received the Shapevine newsletter this morning and  got a welcomed reminder. I’m not in the church business. I’m not even in the church planting business! Lance Ford writes: 

The late John Wimber, of Vineyard fame, frequently reminded the guys and gals he was training that there are two questions we should always be asking ourselves in regard to leading others in the journey of faith. The two questions are, “How’s business?” and “What business are we in?” The problem is that you cannot answer the first question properly if you don’t remind yourself of the last question. With over 20 years of pastoring and planting churches I am more than familiar with the vortex that distorts our true “business” as leaders in the church. Especially in the times we are living today, where everything is being shaken and leaders are genuinely afraid because of the economic uncertainty that is affecting their churches, it is vital that we cling to the hem of His garment and follow the agenda of Jesus with all fervency. 

So, what business are we in? Well, we are not in the church business. If you think you are, or are leading like you are, here is a suggestion: stop it! We are not in the leadership business or the church business or the preaching business. We are in the Father’s business of making disciples to Jesus and there is probably no more neglected task or activity taking place in the Western church today than disciple-making. For instance, when is the last time you attended a conference on making disciples; not a church planting or leadership conference, just a conference that is all about making disciples? This really is the Father’s Business.

I’m not in the church planting business. Its an important thing for me to remind myself of now and then, because its easy (at least for me) to get caught up in the technicalities and strategies of church planting stuff. But this is really what it all boils down to – doing what Jesus did and making disciples. Quite simple, really. And difficult at the same time.

Related post: Church planting or planting the gospel?

Our vision for the church plant we’re part of is to see an organic multiplication movement emerge in Stockholm. Multiplication of disciples, multiplication Christian communities etc… We really do not want to just see the group grow bigger and bigger, we want to send people out to make disciples, to live out the Kingdom of God and to shape communities in the networks and contexts they’re part of. We also want the communal life to be exactly that – life, not organized programs and events. At times it is quite hard to envision how and what this may look like and if it even will be sustainable. For me, I am fully aware that there isn’t much in my pastoral training and theological education that has prepared me for what we’re doing now! Which is both quite scary and exciting.

However, in all this quite fluid and unstructured work we do realize that some form of structure is needed, but we’ve been very hesitant to move in that direction. Structure has to emerge organically, out of necessity, not imposed beforehand prior to any growth (because we just don’t know what sort of structures will be needed).

Well, in some ways organization is like fire, its a real blessing when handled properly and with care, but it can also go horribly wrong. Organization can lead to institutionalism, which is a real killer in terms of Christian movements.

Institutions are organizations initially set up in order to fill a necessary religious and social function and to provide some sort of structural support for whatever that function requires. In many ways they fulfill the very purpose of the structure; organization is needed is we seek to act collectively for a common cause. All movements start this way, but in the initial stages structures exists solely to support the grass roots. The problem happens when the newly instituted structures move beyond being simply structural support to become a governing body of sorts – structure becomes centralized governance. So religious institutionalism happens when in the name of some convenience we set up a system to do what we must do ourselves so that over time the structures we create take on a life of their own.
                                              Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways 

Alan Hirsch has written an article for Leadership Journal on what it means to be missional (you find it here). The term missional risks facing the same fate as the term emerging church, as it has become the latest buzz word. Who doesn’t want to be missional these days, or as Alan asks: “Can you think of a single pastor who is proudly anti-missional?” I haven’t met anyone so far myself, but maybe I haven’t asked enough pastors. Or I hang around the wrong circles, I don’t know. I agree with Alan on almost all accounts, but I must say that the relationship between missional and emerging church is closer than he would say. In my opinion missional is one of the streams that has affected the whole conversation in profound ways. But missional church and emerging church isn’t the same thing, that I agree with. Here’s some quotes from the article:

A proper understanding of missional begins with recovering a missionary understanding of God. By his very nature God is a “sent one” who takes the initiative to redeem his creation. This doctrine, known as missio Dei—the sending of God—is causing many to redefine their understanding of the church. Because we are the “sent” people of God, the church is the instrument of God’s mission in the world. As things stand, many people see it the other way around. They believe mission is an instrument of the church; a means by which the church is grown. Although we frequently say “the church has a mission,” according to missional theology a more correct statement would be “the mission has a church.”

Missional represents a significant shift in the way we think about the church. As the people of a missionary God, we ought to engage the world the same way he does—by going out rather than just reaching out. To obstruct this movement is to block God’s purposes in and through his people. When the church is in mission, it is the true church.

missional-family-tree001

Leadership Journal has also produced a sort of family tree of the missional church. Not sure how correct it is, but in any events it may serve as a good reading list if you want to catch up with all things missional.

 

 

 

 

HT : The Forgotten Ways

The Forgotten Ways features an interview with Mike Frost about the newly published book ReJesus: A wild Messiah for the Missional Church (co-written with Alan Hirsch). I haven’t read the book yet, but it is on my wish-list. Here’s a quote from the interview…

In our first book together, The Shaping of Things to Come, we presented a little maxim that I’ve seen repeated in a variety of places that goes: our christology should lead to our missiology which in turn will lead to our ecclesiology. In other words, the way we understand the gospels and the character of God revealed to us in Jesus will affect our way of thinking about our mission in the world. If we get our christology right, it will lead to a right missiology. If we engage missionally in a godly fashion, issues such as how to ‘do’ church (ecclesiology) will take care of themselves. In Shaping, we argued that a great many church leaders want to start with questions about how to ‘do’ church. We argued strongly that we need to go back to the gospels and let Jesus give rise to our missiology. ‘Doing’ church then kinda falls out the back of a biblical missiology. So it makes sense that our second book together should focus on a missional christology.

I like it. Back to Jesus, back to the gospels. Back to the basics. Interestingly, most of the church planting training and resources I’ve come across seem to start in some other end – ecclesiology, how to form a church planting team, how to raise funding, or whatever. Rarely they start with who Jesus is and what it means to follow him.

Alan Hirsch has a very interesting post about liminality and communitas, have a look at it. It highlights some of the problems associated with being a middle-class, comfortable church in relation to participating in the mission of God. 

So the related ideas of liminality and communitas describe the dynamics of the Christian community inspired to overcome their instincts to ‘huddle and cuddle’, and form themselves around a common mission that calls them onto a dangerous journey to unknown places. A mission which calls the church to shake off its collective securities and to plunge into the world of action where they will experience disorientation and marginalization but also where they encounter God and each other in a new way. – Alan Hirsch

In his post about planting the Gospel (rather than planting churches), Alan Hirsch quotes Dr D T Niles from Sri Lanka. Planting the Gospel implies having the specific context in mind that I’m sent to and in that process being open to whatever form of Christian community that may be able to grow in that context, rather than planting a specific model of church. Here’s the quote:

The Gospel is like a seed, and you have to sow it.  When you sow the seed of the Gospel in Israel, a plant that can be called Jewish Christianity grows.  When you sow it in Rome, a plant of Roman Christianity grows.  You sow the Gospel in Great Britain and you get British Christianity.  The seed of the Gospel is later brought to America, and a plant grows of American Christianity.  Now, when missionaries come to our lands they brought not only the seed of the Gospel, but their own plant of Christianity, flower pot included!  So, what we have to do is to break the flowerpot, take out the seed of the Gospel, sow it in our own cultural soil, and let our own version of Christianity grow.