Way back in January of this year I got really excited when I found out about some people already putting my dreams into action :: Link
I got excited because I knew I wasn't alone and it could be done. ((deep)) is one answer... and I hope to follow up with other ideas at some point.
Anyway... where am I going with this? The Freeway appeared recently in www.salvationist.ca and I am buzzing with excitement all over again. Pernell (or Pernellton to his friends in the UK) is a true inspiration and I hope to meet up with him sometime for a latte.
Some important quotes from the article ::
Having grown up in The Salvation Army, I felt that the way we had traditionally done things wouldn’t connect with the demographic we wanted to reach. We interviewed people in our area and documented what they thought about God, spirituality and church. Using this method, we were able to identify the stumbling blocks that prevent people from participating in a community of faith. Personally, I wanted to be part of a church that I could bring people to and was living what it said about Jesus.../Important!
/...As for our philosophy of ministry, we completely resonate with the Army’s holistic mandate of “heart to God, hand to man.” We don’t want to be labelled a corps or a social service, we don’t talk in a Salvation Army language, but we do consider ourselves Jesus-followers. We love Army history, but don’t want to be bound by it. Our people don’t resonate with the traditional Army culture of bands, uniforms and military structure. At the same time, we don’t feel the rest of the Army necessarily needs to become like us.../
/...we’ve designed the Freeway as a safe place, a neutral ground. The non-religious surroundings make it easier for people to open up and be themselves. We believe that the relationships we are forming with our neighbours should be integrated with their normal day-to-day life. When the Christian Church got started 2,000 years ago, it existed seamlessly in the community—in people’s homes and in the marketplace—not because it was trying to be relevant, but because that’s where everyday life happened.../
/...Since the beginning, we’ve tried to do things in community. It’s not “God gave Pernell a vision and he manipulates people to follow it.” We lead in community, without the hierarchy or structure that you have in many Army corps. We want to encourage people to become missional followers of Jesus, rather than belonging to programs. It makes it messy and challenging to lead, but it’s always better when Jesus works and speaks through us as a community of faith.
Check it out... and hook up with Pernell and with The Freeway community.