Thursday, September 21, 2006

Planting...

I do believe I am called to be involved in planting a new expression of church and community somewhere... sometime... This isn't a new thought. This is something that has been bubbling under the surface for a while and has developed over the last few days.

For those who don't know... I've been pretty focussed on the idea I have for a creative space in Glasgow codenamed ((deep)) and the meeting I had last night was very successful. However, I don't believe this is the complete fulfilment of my calling.

((deep)) will be huge... I don't doubt it. Huge in impact and presence... but I yearn for community. I want to do this whole new-expression-of-church thing in a place and time where I don't need to commute. Where I live and breathe church and community because my church and my community are together.

I have had a few conversations recently that have crystalised this thought... this desire.

On Tuesday, I met up with my close friend and fellow traveller on this ((deep)) journey, Jon G, to discuss the pitch on Wednesday. When I got to Starbucks (Jon's choice... I wanted to go to Coffee Merchant) I met up with a chap called Paul Ede :: Along with his wife Esther, Paul is the team leader in Glasgow for an organisation called urban expression. UE is
...an urban mission agency that recruits, equips, deploys and networks self-financing teams pioneering creative and relevant expressions of the Christian church in under-churched areas of the inner city.
Their approach is very interesting... especially relating to self-financing. A concept that Innes J independently spoke about recently...and now something in place and working.

I have arranged to hook up with Paul and Esther to talk through their approach further and will post about them afterwards. I believe they have a direction that needs to be explored. They really challenged me about putting my financials in the Lord's hands... which is so hard for me to do. I am the provider and can not... will not... jeapordise my beautiful wife and we'ans. Is this idolatory? I don't think so. I believe I am honouring God by providing for my family... even though I am unhappy in my job.

After the pitch last night... Jon took me out to Nando's for some food... We were in the neighbourhood and are both big fans.

While in Nando's... Jon and I had a deep discussion about our church... the Salvation Army... and our connection with it as a church and as a movement. I challenged Jon to tell me what was Army that he wouldn't give up. He replied...
1) Social Action
2) Mission
3) Discipleship
4) Worship
This is my view too... The Army, as a movement, is very dear to me... but I get frustrated when people get mixed up and view our style of worship as being the most important.

Jon then further challenged me by saying that Jesus didn't come to make Christians but to change lives... to change communities and that this should be our focus. Our Founder focussed on soup... and soap... before he worried about salvation. His focus was on changing the physical realities of people. He wasn't obsessed with quantity... obsessed with bums (literally) on seats... Booth sought to make a difference in his world.

This is my inspiration... my yearning... to make a difference. I want to make this difference through the Salvation Army... but I am not limited to them... nor will I be limited by them. As long as the big four above are evident... and in that order.

Its going to happen, dv, and I can't wait.

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8 comments:

Matthew Bennett said...

Not much more to add from me - you've just about said it - Im with you in that - praying for your ((deep)) thinking and vision -
I've been reading and thinking alot about the 'social action' part of mission - in relation to Human Trafficking subject - what is our response to it? This is happening in the UK too but how do we respond locally? Well, we are addressing, speaking it up, highlighting the need for prayer for it, even though the location Debs and I are in may not be a 'target' for such activity, we still need to address the 'social evils' that are evident and our response of the corps / fellowship integrated in the community...there is more to this....a big subject...but our desire further should be to 'Move It! Speak It! Pray It! Stop It!' in all that God directs or seeks us to......

Prayers, Matthew

Anonymous said...

yeah having a place of social action is good. But are you going to have to wear those crazy SA uniforms? It's like, can we get out of the 19th century, people?

Johnny said...

Keep on keepin' on, Thomas!

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are with you that the Spirit will lead you into His Will for your lives. Let Him lead you particularly to people who need to know that God loves each individual.

Unknown said...

in response to roy, and anyone else who agrees. I love those crazy salvation army uniforms! not because i think they look cool(im odd, but not that odd) but because they are a fantastic way to stand up and be recognised and as a witness to the people that see you.

On the train today i saw a minister, come on, have a quick look around, then slide his cincture(the white collar they where around their necks) round to the back of his collar, meaning nobody could see it. I didnt think, oh how good of him to try and blend in with everyone else, I thought, what a coward! He is content to preach about the need for god in the world, but on a crowded train, he hides the one thing that openly shows he is a representative of god!

Maybe he did have a good reason, maybe he was on some secret undercover mission for the church, if you were and through some huge coincidence are reading this now, im very sorry.

The only time I think there is a valid argument for not wearing uniform is in the army hall. You need no identification as a christian in your church.

If you want a more accessible salvation army to young people, wear a salvation army hoodie! its still uniform.

Rant over. god bless!

Anonymous said...

Hey a Salvation Army hoodie is a great idea.

Unknown said...

we already have salvation army hoodies. I had a really cool black one with the red crest on the front, but i lost it. Wasnt too happy.

weareallghosts said...

I have a cool alove hoody that says The Salvation Army for the next generation... in pink writing (its actually the girls version) but it is super cool...

I can't wait to be banned from wearing it!

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