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Posts Tagged ‘transformational’

Our new church has worked out well so far.  Our family, having come from a “missional” and “transformational” church with a pastor who is angry when challenged has needed to heal.  We’ve really enjoyed coming to church just to hear the bible preached.  The church we attend preaches straight through on most every Sunday.  We’ve needed this.  No pressure to join a small group every week, no projects and slick presentations.  No recycling of themes just in case we’re too dumb to get the message.  It’s all about the bible, all about study. 

There recently was a reminder that we cannot just be hearers only though, but doers, and there are churches being planted.  There are missionaries to support.  Most of all, there are needs in the body, and that seems to be the biggest way service is done.  Prayer is very important too, with prayers in service several times, several times a week we get a prayer/praise email with real messages from the body.  This little church takes prayer very seriously.

Verse by verse, it’s a theme that goes beyond the pulpit.  We’re still in John, it’s been over a year, and we’re not halfway through yet in the weekly services.  In bible study we’re going through Revelation.  The pastor teaching this has been doing it for weeks and we’re still on the very first verses.  It’s refreshing, some may think it’s boring, but to me it’s great to get all the background.  We don’t attend on Sunday night, it is a service for the body.  They get together for a lesson in proverbs.  Next they divide into groups such as teens, a bible club for the younger children, and something for the adults.  I know special choirs practice also on Sunday night.  I also know something goes on Wednesday night, we haven’t investigated.  There are also small groups meeting everywhere.  There is also a class in the week called the “bible institute” and I believe it’s a very in depth class in the bible but also possibly including church history.  I’m a bit fuzzy though it’s brought up every once in a while. 

This church is also a place for Deaf people.  There is an interpreter for everything in the service, actually there are several.  They trade off, and will interpret every word spoken from the pulpit.  If needed in a bible study, they are there too.  If a song is played with no words, the words of the song are still up on the screen in front or a bible passage is printed. 

I believe some time our next step needs to be getting into more in this church.  We have avoided small group.  Part of this is because our schedule is busy, however, it’s always been busy before and at our former churches (since we began as married people) we’ve always been in a small group.  However, I recall the important thing to me was not the fellowship alone, but bible study.  I do think that was a need in the churches I attended before.  I did need the fellowship and friendships before, but small group was where I tried my hardest to push bible study.  I know now I did this because I needed to be fed somewhere, I wasn’t getting it from the pulpit like I should (not that missional/transformational churches don’t ever preach from the bible, they do and you can get SOME food there…but not nearly what I needed to grow).  The church we attend now has a pulpit rich in “spiritual food.”  Rich.  So, I believe small group can actually be more of a social time, a time to be in fellowship, to serve one another and be served.  We probably should seek this out next fall, and arrange our lives for it.  We should find a group that includes kids, our kids need to get to know others in the church.  I have a sneaky feeling though, that small group in this church is not like what I’ve experienced since we got a few friends together years ago and went verse by verse through John every week on our own.  One was a seminary student, and we just really studied the bible…evangelized to friends we brougth with us who weren’t Christians, and enjoyed one another.  No book themes, no marketing, no projects, just study.

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Recently I came across a web page for a ministry called Vision360 co-founded by Steve Johnson, together with Al Weiss, President, Worldwide Operations, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. (this has to do with the little church big church postings….the little church was to be a part of Vision 360 if they decided to hand themselves over to big church).   The mission of Vision 360  is to “serve and empower a collaborative church planting community in 500 global cities by 2025.” The plan is as follows, “Each city will have a City Catalyst who will work closely with the pastors to recruit church planters and business leaders, assess church planters at the national assessment center, raise the funds necessary for the church planters and then supervise the church plants. After money has been raised, each city movement becomes self-sustaining as each church plant will then give back 5% of their general fund offerings to fund future church plants.” This means there will be an outside person involved in each of the church plants, answering back to this organization. It’s almost as if they are setting up a denomination that people in each individual church may not realize they are a part of. These churches are “non-denominational” from what I can see. Each city has a “visionary” and I know one of them myself…from my former church. He’s the lead pastor.

More information on this Vision360 organization is that they are naming the training center after Bill and Vonette Bright. Erwin McMannus is on the board. A Google search cache shows Dan Southerland (I believe he’s from Saddleback originally) was one of the “visionaries.”   They are using the Lausanne Covenant, this is something I know little to nothing about.  Anyone out there know about it?
http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:a8lOoYioBD0J:www.vision360.org/contentpages.aspx%3Fparentnavigationid%3D1341%26viewcontentpageguid%3D7fe6c057-79bc-4c27-903d-c00b93ef49f4+vision+360+dan+southerland&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

So what is this all about? http://www.vision360.org/

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