Just for the record: I had really intense dreams of Chad Canipe last night, something in the Spirit and it woke me up. Thoughts of him continue to consume me.
Tonight in Student House Church as we were praying for our needs as a community, the Spirit told me to see if they had any questions, which took me off my agenda for the night, but that's the way of the Spirit. Instead of reading and meditating on the next 5 stations of the Cross, we talked theology and asked questions. We talked of denominations and of churches and of the order of things. These are questions that have been dialogued for centuries with very little conclusions and lots of baggage. But nonetheless, its a worthy conversation.
My answer is usually the same. They know my motto, "Church is not someplace you go, its a people you belong to." If you understand that paradigm change, you understand the DNA of Ordinary Community Church. But also most fundamentally is that "Church is a Movement of Spirit." I heard Erwin McMannus say that at Mosaic Church in L.A. about 6 years ago and it has stuck with me because I believe it and I think history indicates that truth. Church is fundamentally not a budget, not a building, not a vocation, not a program, not a strategy, not a service, not a set of beliefs, not a cause, not a doctrine, not a political force etc, etc. I believe that Church is most fundamentally a movement of Spirit. You can choose to listen and participate and be in its flow. Now that flow may take you through any of things listed above, but the Spirit supercedes those ideas. The Spirit is in communion with the Kingdom of God, and the KOG is the basis of all reality. Follow the Spirit and you find the Kingdom. Learning to hear the Spirit, well, that's a discipline.
And before the theological blogger police come and question me, let me say that listening to the Spirit is not opposed to the things written in the Scriptures. In fact, they are the same voice. If we lose touch of the Spirit, as a Church, we have lost our identity and in fact have no Gospel at all. And if you have no real Gospel (good news), then you are irrelevant. sound familiar to anyone?
side note: Its 10:30 p.m. Amy Palmer just called while I was writing this. The ambulance just took Palmer back to the hospital. He is really weak and unable to function at home normally. They are hoping some fluids will get him feeling better get him some strength.
The Church is a movement of Spirit. I am now going to bed with just one prayer in my soul: "may the Spirit move in Palmer's body." I am so sorry he has to suffer this way. so very sorry. How long, oh Lord? How long? How long until you show your Glory?