Sunday, March 14, 2004

I believe this is the official symbol of Christian Guy camping, but I'm not sure. I'll do some more research on that. What an outstanding weekend! We (Bean, Creech, Rains, Matt, Paul, Glenn) camped in the Red River Gorge in east kentucky. Friday night was real cold, probably dipped below 20 degrees, got only about 4 hours of sleep as the fire at 4:30 a.m. was calling my name. We took a sweet hike up the Natural Bridge in the warm of the afternoon on Saturday, cooked up some serious steaks and then entered into the best Kingdom talk I've had in a long time. WOW. I love these bros. I was so amped, my adrenaline was overflowing. we challenged each other in theological quandries but it led to a unifying story. The story of what God is doing and has been doing since he decided to create. The story of how we all met and how that networking happened so organically with such tangible love. We want to be known, not for events like Mayhem, not for training programs, not for "successful" church planting (atleast not how most define it), not for being post-whatever, but for our love one for another. And there was a lot of Kingdom love around the fire this weekend.
Bean slapped me upside the head again, intellectually speaking, and gave me some pretty inspiring, simple thoughts. I won't explain this all now, but we need to start with our Christology (life with God), allow that to naturally develop our missiology (life in the world) and only then consider our ecclesiology (how we do church). In all my theological training, I can say that I was indoctrinated to the opposite. That we have pre-determined ideas of what church is and ought to look like, we spend all of our time running that plan. If we are really capable, we move into missiology in the form of evangelism that will increase our ecclesiology or church growth. And if there is anything left, maybe there are a few around the church who take the time to focus on their Christiology, that is a deep connection with the spirit of Christ. With this backward way of looking at things where we seek to be relevant to the world first without finding our "nothingness" before God and receiving our beloved is just panning for fools gold. Is it any wonder that the crises for the north american church is with its leaders? Doing the work of church and mission without the focus on a life with God first and showing that focus in their formation and structure. It leads to emptiness, depression, isolation and despair. mmmmmm, despair. Rather, God wants us to focus ourselves in him first and take our lead from that. Then and only then will we have a clue as to how to love this world and the people in it and finally how we should gather as his local community here on earth. Christology cannot be assumed. It must be planned for, intentionall sought, willing to be disciplined and placed in the center of life. It is what you anchor yourself to, without it . . . well, you know how it feels.
More on this yet to come, let me know if it makes sense to you. I am filled to the brim with Kingdom relationship, brings tears to my eyes. Never have I felt so alive.

"Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matt. 6:33-34 The Message)
There are 2 types of people, those who dream of this reality, and those who are experiencing it. I pray the virus of the Kingdom of God finds you today.


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