A Hope-Inspired Existence

In Christianity, Church, Community, Discipleship, Formation, Gospel, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by Bizgainey1 Comment

The early church was a raucous bunch!

Stumbling, bumbling, and fumbling their way into this new-way-to-be-human the Gospel so clearly proclaimed.

You don’t have to read too far into the New Testament to pick up on the sense of dynamic power at work within and among them!

They (the earliest followers) are not a second-guessing kind of people.

They aren’t a “Hey, I wonder-if-this-is-true” study-group kind of people.

We don’t find them huddled up in bible-study groups complaining about how bad the world is.

Nope.

None of that.

A People Empowered By Hope

What we do find is a people empowered by hope.

Hope that a new way of life is possible, even probable.

Hope in the probability that being a new-kind-of-person within a new-kind-of-community is now – at long last – attainable.

When Jesus uttered the words, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,” they believed it.

Sadly, it seems, we don’t believe that any longer.  Today’s church is littered with lost souls who believe that lasting change is no longer possible and power is an experience of an age gone by.

Gone are the days when God’s people roamed the earth with a message of hope steeped in an ancient promise of the Father.

We are, it seems, a rather anemic group of people.  We express great anger toward the world with little room in our hearts for the grace she so desperately needs.

Stuck in our habits, many languish in prisons of addiction.

We’ve Lost So Much and Fallen So Far

We have lost so much and fallen so far.

If the earliest follower were to drop in on us, we would be unrecognizable to them.

Yet there are signs of new life.

Shades, really.

Shadows, hovering over the chaotic landscape of modern life, much like the pre-creative Spirit of God bringing order to the chaos, a new kind of Christian is emerging in our midst.

It’s difficult to discern what this new kind of Christian will look like in ten years.  But the reality of this emergence is clear to all who have eyes to see.

I hope to be a voice that shapes this new emergence.  A presence that influences those who long for this ancient promise.  A voice within and presence among the local church.  Yes. I have a small-scale vision within a large-scale hope.

Reclaiming What’s Been Lost

The vision is to be faithful and present to those whom God brings into my midst and draws to the family that is Pillar Community Church.

I believe in and walk with the small church.  The local church, that localized embodiment of the communal realities the Gospel makes probable, is the place in which the Kingdom of Christ’s grand vision of hope goes forth!

The local church is the place where the ancient promise has lost its grip and the place where it must be regained!

The church carries the promise of a new message of hope, that invites us to a new way to be human, within a new kind of community, in the midst of a new Kind of Kingdom!

And, ironically, there’s nothing new about it!

So, welcome to a new series of posts.

A series that will seek to rediscover the church as a carrier of the Gospel that is:

  1. A New Message of Hope.
  2. An Invitation to a New Way to Be Human.
  3. A Commitment to a New Kind of Community.
  4. A Life Within a New Kind of Kingdom.

Before we go there, though, we need to revisit how we have fallen so far and account for all that’s been lost!

Allow me to end by drawing from the Chronicles of Narnia.  In the fifth book, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, of Lewis’ classic series, Dr. Cornelius wakes Prince Caspian just before an assassination attempt on the young prince’s life.

Cornelius’ last words to Caspian are, “Everything you know is about to change.”

Indeed.

When we study the ancient ways, all that we think we know begins to change!

This series is going to disrupt-us.

Disrupting to Renew!

 

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Comments

  1. Looking forward to this series. You’re writing clearly and with vision again. 🙂 Glad for you, and for us!

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