Organic expressions of church come out of a truly life-giving, organically connected heart with Jesus. It is always Jesus first: love, worship, know, follow Him and then allow gatherings to take place from out of that dynamic.
I have been reflecting on the simple, profound truths that many of you are familiar with from Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby:
I am taken by the fact that, at the end of the day, it’s always about knowing Jesus, hearing from Jesus, adjusting my life by faith to follow Him, and then inviting others to experience the same dynamic.
I want to use this post to invite your input on this subject of intimacy with Christ. What has God been speaking to you regarding the deepening of your relationship with Him? What resources have been personally useful you?
Mission Frontiers has some excellent articles, this month, on reproducing disciples in the context of the U.S. It is exciting to see these principles implemented in Western contexts that have had such an impact throughout the rest of the world.
Curtis Sergeant shares an article entitled Growing U.S. Movements to the Lost and the Unreached:
Read more here.
Fred and Melissa Campbell authored an article called, No Longer “Business as Usual:”
Read more here.
These types of movements will continue to grow as the church is discovering it can take the shape of mission and gather in simple, reproducible ways. The Holy Spirit is surely at work!
The entire issue is a great read!
Following is a guest post by Felicity Dale, author of the new book "The Black Swan Effect." Whether we are talking about reproducing churches in our own region or engaging in missions throughout the world, it is vital that women are championed and take their place at the forefront of God's Kingdom work. Felicity has been doing this for years and this book represents the pinnacle of that effort.
Here are some key comments from this passage:
1. Go where Jesus sends you. Jesus sent the disciples out, instructed them where to go, and told them he would be following up in those places personally. This pre-supposes that we have an intimate, listening relationship with Jesus and we are seeking to go and work where He is working. Persons of peace are people that God is already working within. He has prepared them. By listening and going where He sends, we join God in something He is already doing rather than needing to force something to happen. I have spent much time hoping I can get something to work where God wasn’t working rather than tuning in to where He is already sowing life.
2. Pray to the Lord of harvest. Specifically, pray that God will send out workers. This means that we are asking God to send us to people who will become workers in the harvest. We are asking, not just for receptive people, but for those who will turn around and attract others by their influence and become effective at drawing others. By praying this way, we are engaging the principle of reproduction from the very beginning. We are asking God to bring us to those who will not be barren but fruitful.
3. Acts of kindness, miracles, and relationship-building precede the proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Clear, spoken explanation of the Kingdom does take place in this passage. But prior to that, the disciples are told to display compassion, pray for needs, and build relationship through eating together.
If you want to move forward in planting simple/house/organic churches, reaching others, living incarnationally, and becoming fruitful, praying over this passage and asking God for next steps might be a great place to start.
My friends over at Newforms Resources have put together a wonderful video that uses a game format to describe the simple, powerful principles of disciple making movements. This is a wonderfully precise and informative vid: