mosaic nashville
CONTENTS

What Dan Said to the Guy in the T-Shirt
by: Dan Kimball

A Learned to Learner Litany of Transformation?
by: Leonard Sweet

Preaching to the Postmodern Choir by Eutychus Bailey
by: by Eutychus Bailey

I 'sinned' to see Billy Graham
by: By Dan Kimball

Two questions unbelievers often ask about the resurrection
by: Lee Strobel

24 Transtions for moving into the 21st Century
by: by Leonard Sweet

The Relationship Driven Church (Warning: This Is Not A Program)
by: John 0'Keefe

The Bible for Missing People
by: By Neil Tibbot

God, a friend, and a good cup of coffee
by: Gary Morgan

How do you see the emerging/postmodern conversation?
by: Mark Tabb

Ministry of Presence
by: Jared R. Mackey

The Missional Church
by: TIm Keller

SE7EN QUESTIONS
by: Dan Kimball

The Church
by: Andrea Johnston

who is Jesus?
by: John O'Keefe

 

 

This section will include posts from the mosaic community and others who have thoughts on all sorts of things.

 

NEWS

August 15, 2006
new sunday conversation a·wak·en·ing
a·wak·en·ing is about people who sense God's calling on their lives, it?s about a community with dreams, it?s about a community exploring what God might want to do in and through them, it?s about rearrangement, it?s about stretching, it?s about beginning for some and growing for others. Join us over the next few months as we explore the movement of God as told in the book of Acts. Join us as Mosaic continues to open ourselves up to God and allows God to shape and change us. Join us as we experience an ACT of?a·wak·en·ing

May 23, 2006
Mosaic Sabbatical Week
Sabbaticals in today's world refer to an extended time completely away from one's normal work.
Sabbatical comes from the word Sabbath. If we look at the Biblical roots of the Sabbath, we see that it means the day of rest. But the intention was to not only rest the body and the mind, but also to refresh our souls.
Beginning May 28th after our morning worship gathering until June 4 we will have no schedule events, in hopes to rest the body, the mind, and the soul.
So prepare yourself and determine what you need to shift your thinking from the normal schedule to sabbatical. Without this mindset rearrangement, it will be difficult to achieve the goals that you've set. Take the time to get your mind and our soul ready.
And may your sabbatical week be a time of refreshment for your mind, your body and your soul. Enjoy the week and we will see you next Sunday.

Thoughts and ideas- from Your Vacation as a True Sabbatical by Jeff Cornwall Director of the Belmont University Center for Entrepreneurship Bio/Vita

March 13, 2006
threads the conversation
threads: the values from the ancient scriptures that are at the core of God's story and at the core of who Mosaic desires to be as a community of Jesus followers.
these are the essentials that are woven into all we are and all we are becoming ? both as individuals and as a whole. They shape us as followers of Jesus, defining our role in the movement of God. This is who we are. These are non-negotiables that we hold to, that we strive for. They become the rhythms that we live by.
Mission. Love. Design. Relevance. Surrender.
So, join us over the next few weeks as we explore, experience, and engage in the conversation, threads.

January 12, 2006
Community Groups Begin (check out the schedule and Join one)

Mosaic will be a church of "people", not a "place" you go to. For us, the point is not just "going to a church," but being church in our daily lives and everyday interactions with others. At mosaic, commonLIFE in Christ starts @ home and among friends.

Thus community groups gather in homes, but also in other kinds of spaces. Some groups meet in coffeehouses and some in parks. The spaces vary, but the purpose is the same: small groups of people gathering to share life, tell stories, eat meals, pray, serve and grow together in Jesus Christ.

So, join a community group and invest in others.

January 3, 2006
New Sunday Conversation "30 Days"

Morgan Spurlock, creator of the documentary, ?Super Size Me? and the Fx original series, ?30 Days?, makes this statement about his television series, ?My goal with this series is just to plant the seeds that will hopefully inspire you to seek out more information or act to make a change in your own community. So get involved, make a difference, change the world ... in the end it's up to you.?
Over the next 30 days we long to do the same, to dive into conversations about the stories of those in scripture who have placed themselves into the shoes of others, the cultures of others, the lands of others and the lives of others. Our hope is that we may be convinced to act, to seek out, to get involved, to make a change, to follow in the ways of Jesus.
So for the next 30 days join us as we live in someone else?s shoes?.In the end it?s up to you.

December 22, 2005
Christmas Worship Gathering
December 23 Christmas Worship Gathering O' Come let us adore Him Friday 7:00 PM at the Anchor 629 Third Ave South 37210 Nashville, TN This year we'll celebrate Christmas with Carols, lots of Candles and Communion.

November 10, 2005
the ride continues
the ride continues,
the word is out,
yes, we are moving.
on december 4, 2005 to
629 third avenue south in downtown n?ville

On Sunday, December 4 we will be gathering at a new location, 629 Third Avenue South in Downtown Nashville. This location is the gathering place of The Anchor Fellowship http://theanchorfellowship.com.
The Anchor Fellowship Church has graciously allowed us to lease their facilities for Sunday gatherings, a few additional community gatherings a month, storage, and band practice. We continually thank the Lord and the Anchor fFllowship for paving the way for this new location.

So, pass the word and stay tuned for more information, and continue to do life with God and others.

November 7, 2005
The Building at McGavock
It was just a few months ago when we stated we will be moving into a new location at 1525 McGavock St. for our worship gathering. We were excited and felt it was where we needed to be for the time being. However, it is time to move again, we received a notice along with other the tenants of the building stating the building must be vacated by December 31, 2005. We are not exactly sure what is gong to happen to the building but we believe it is going to become a parking lot.
So, we are on the search again, for a venue in which we can gather together, eat meals together, and do life together.
Please be in pray for a new place to do life together. We have always stated that Church is a people not a place?may our actions continue to represent our words. Pass the word and stay tuned for more information about when a move will take place.
In the mean time the people of mosaic still do life all over including a building at 1525 McGavock st. ?. See you there.

September 25, 2005
Our role in foster care
Family Matters "Potluck and special speaker Sunday, September 25th after the service" MeLisa Hovind a foster parent will share from her experience (she became a foster parent at 21 and would've started earlier but that was the age minimum), and then Sharon Zinzow will discuss the ways we can be involved in helping out foster care. We will address service projects and a future meeting date. So come to listen and eat as we discover how God could utilize the community of Mosaic within the foster care system. For more information contact Sharon at Sharon.Zinzow@state.tn.us

September 13, 2005
THE RECEPTION WEEKEND
The Reception: Saturday - September 17
7:00pm
A party to celebrate the coming together of our community
At The Virtual Factory Stage & The Garage
1525 McGavock Street Nashville, TN 37203
Live music- food -Childcare will be provided

Picnic In the Park: Sunday - September 18
11:00am
This is our weekend gathering
We will gather at Centennial Park to wrap up the reception weekend. Bring your lunch, a blanket and a Frisbee and we will provide the drinks

For more information please see www.mosaicnashville.org or call 473-6485.

July 22, 2005
The Merge
It is here, merge week and It is going to be great!
The dates of July 26th picnic in the park & July 31st, our merge Sunday are fast approaching. I am excited about the God given opportunity to do life together. I continue to be blown away by the beautiful fit of vision and values from each community of faith. Thanks to all, for the conversations, questions and prayers, GOD IS GOOD. Let our days ahead be a time for our community to being formed into the image of Christ for the sake of others.

July 26 Picnic at the Park
July 31 Merge Sunday

June 23, 2005
NEW LOCATION
SUNDAY June 26 we will be moving into a new location for our worship gathering located at 1525 McGavock St.
This is not a permanent location as of yet, but it will be our home for the next phase of our life.
Pass the word and stay tuned for more information.

June 13, 2005
**Merge Ahead**
Dear Mosaic Community,
The decision has been made and the news is out, Mosaic is about to experience a blessed expansion! Mosaic Nashville and Mosaic are coming together to further our shared mission and vision. Thanks to all for the conversations, prayers and questions, it is great doing life together Gary



Mosaic Sabbatical Week:
Sabbaticals in today's world refer to an extended time completely away from one's normal work.
Sabbatical comes from the word Sabbath. If we look at the Biblical roots of the Sabbath, we see that it means the day of rest. But the intention was to not only rest the body and the mind, but also to refresh our souls.
Beginning May 28th after our morning worship gathering until June 4 we will have no schedule events, in hopes to rest the body, the mind, and the soul.
So prepare yourself and determine what you need to shift your thinking from the normal schedule to sabbatical. Without this mindset rearrangement, it will be difficult to achieve the goals that you've set. Take the time to get your mind and our soul ready.
And may your sabbatical week be a time of refreshment for your mind, your body and your soul. Enjoy the week and we will see you next Sunday.
Thoughts and ideas from Your Vacation as a True Sabbatical Jeff Cornwall Director of the Belmont University Center for Entrepreneurship Bio/Vita

 

 

THOUGHTS

What Dan Said to the Guy in the T-Shirt
Dan Kimball


A couple of weeks ago, we related a post about how to deal with intolerance. Dan Kimball wrote about seeing a person in an airport with a really provacative shirt. It was an interesting story, and we had a lot of great comments. Dan recently just posted on his blog (Vintage Faith), the 'rest of the story' about this young man and the shirt.

Dan writes:
It certainly has been interesting seeing the response from the t-shirt story blog entry. I think it shows the way the Christian sub-culture and more extreme thinking of how to express faith and belief is clashing with most of us in our passion for Jesus, but not expressing it in the way the t-shirt did.

Here's what my response was. As I saw the fellow in the airport my whole body felt flushed. It might have been adrenalin as I couldn't believe what I was reading on his shirt (see previous post for what the shirt was). My reaction first was at the way the t-shirt seemed to manipulate the text on the front making it look like it was saying "Jesus said.... INTOLERANT". I felt that was very inappropriate to do that and for those don't know what Jesus said, they may not know any different. So that was my initial feeling of frustration with the shirt. I wanted to tell the guy that I felt it was wrong to misrepresent the words of Jesus like that for a reaction. The shirt I posted here "Jesus loves you (and I'm trying)" is basically how I felt when I was there in the airport and saw him wearing his t-shirt. If I was to respond to his t-shirt with another t-shirt when I saw him and went over to talk with him, it probably would have been this one (although I don't own that one and I rarely ever wear any t-shirts that are "Christian").

I watched the guy wearing the shirt make his way into the line to get on the plane. It was a packed plane so the line went really slow. As we entered into the corridor going into the plane, I could see virtually everyone looking at the shirt as it was so obvious. About three or four times I began moving toward the guy, and rehearsing in my head what I would say. But I kept blanking out on what to say and stopped. Should I confront him? But that would most likely only fuel his feeling that he is right and he is being a soldier for Jesus with these causes and I was the enemy. I felt that he would only be more affirmed if I confronted him about it. Do I gently ask him if he thinks the shirt is effective? But that would be obvious I was only feeding him my opinion through a question.

When we got on the plane, he sat down on an aisle seat and I stopped there and said hello. I then said "I can't help but notice your shirt. Are you a Christian?" and he smiled really big and said "I am sure am!". He said he was just at an event that he got the shirt at. He said the conference was something about abortion but didn't say the name. I later looked it up on-line and found the shirt was from the "Operation America" organization that was also the "Operation Rescue" organization. It looks like they have extended their mission from abortion to those other things by adding the "America" part. to their name. Now I am very pro-life, so this is not anything about not being pro-life, but I find it odd and wrong that the abortion issue is now being thrown in with Islam and homosexuality for this shirt.

I asked him what kind of church he was from. He said "a Bible preaching Bible church" (I think those were his exact words). He was very friendly, he was smiling as he talked. He then said "Are you a Christian?" and I said, yes I am. He said "Praise God!" And then I said very gently "I wouldn't be wearing that shirt though - I think it repels people from the message rather than draws people to Jesus." He then kept smiling and said "Well, we can't hide the truth and if one person repents as a result of this shirt it is worth it." My adrenalin began flowing again and I said "Have you ever known someone to repent as a result of the shirt?" He said "No, but that's the Holy Spirit's job. Our job is to get the message out there."

At this time, I was now blocking people behind me in the plane from going past in the aisle, so I had to end the conversation. I just said "Thanks for talking" and moved on to my seat.
When I sat down, I was wondering if I should go back to him and talk again after the plane took off. But I ended up thinking me standing in the aisle talking to him, with other people listening wouldn't be too great and also I doubt in this situation I was going to change his mind about the shirt.


His words of "we can't hide the truth" were interesting to think about. We shouldn't hide the truth. I think more than ever we need to be making truth known, but I see that truth as Jesus. Jesus is the truth. We are His body. We are supposed to be His light, shining out Him to others, not wearing t-shirts pointing out sins. But this brings up a bigger issue than that.
How many people outside the church, only experience t-shirts like this about Christianity and never experience the truth of Jesus embodied in us and in our lives? Not that we don't live it, but where do those outside the church experience the truth in us? I think that in our evangelical sub-culture we pretty much all wear "shirts" of one kind or another to express truth to others and feel then our job is done. ONe way we wear a "shirt" and I hear of often is "Well, they will see something different in me as a Christian and then ask why I am different and then hear about Jesus" . I can say every time I hear that, I ask the person if anyone ever has actually ever asked them "Why are you different?" and then we answer "Because of Jesus". I have never heard someone say that has actually happened. I think that is somewhat of a cop-out (in my opinion) as the examples I see in the BIble, they did win the respect of people by their lives but they were in relationships, working with others, and told others about Jesus, not just assume one day they might ask.

I am amazed and even numb now, of when I ask Christians what they are doing to share Jesus with others or how they are being Jesus to others. I am guessing around 95% of the Christians I ask, especially church leaders, are not in any true friendship with a non-Christian. I ask when was the last time you went to dinner with someone outside of the faith? Or when have you gone to a movie with someone not already part of your church? The answer almost 95% of the time is "I haven't". All of the time is spent with Christians in the church. Have we so turned the need for "community" into a selfish thing to where we now don't ever make effort to be salt and light to others? Or do so only by giving money to the poor or go on mission trips elsewhere - but not being in real relationships and friendships with those outside the church where we live? How else will they not think Christians are all like the guy wearing the t-shirt?
We need Christian community, but I even see community as being refreshed from being with others who love Jesus and to be prayed for etc. - and that ultimately is so that as believers we continue on the mission that Jesus sent us on - not so that we just feel peaceful and in a tranquil state of peace and calm and feel loved and needed by other Christians. The New Testament is filled with a lot of travel, action, and Christians who were not passive in building community and hope others get the message of Jesus somewhere. They weren't wearing those t-shirts though. They were out among people, talking, working with and making their faith known so that of course Jesus would come up in conversation undoubtedly. I read a book about the spread of Christianity in the first few hundred years of the early church, and they were stating it most lkely was because of the networks with non-believers Christians had that they didn't cut off when they became Christians.

When I do ask Christians, do you even have a non-Christian you know enough to even go out to movie with right now? And sadly most might say "my brother" or a relative, but not an actual friend. We seem to cut all ties with those outside the faith socially. Thus, those outside the faith don't get to know real Christians and what we believe - they only experience the extremists like te t-shirt guy, or a street preacher or someone handing out tracts.
I am realizing more and more that most (not all but most) church leaders, don't spend time with non-Christians. I know some do of course, but as I said when I actually ask people "what did you do this weekend?" it is always going out with Christians, or hanging out with Christians. I understand the need for fellowship, but where will people know we are not all like the guy wearing the shirt if we only spend all our time socializing exclusively with all Christians? I think we somehow put on our own version of a "shirt" for evangelism or for sharing Jesus by thinking it is the missionaries job we support going to China. Or someone who goes to YWAM we know, they do that for us somewhere else. Or a special Christian concert or event that somehow non-Christians are supposed to go to. I think we wear our own shirts without realizing it, and somehow think the world around us will be exposed to the truth of Jesus. But we aren't doing it. We preach in our churches, but what about how Jesus was also spending time outside of the Temple and synagogue hanging out with sinners and the non-religious?
To some degree, at least I have to respect the guy in the plane that he was trying to do something in his own detrimental way about sharing light (but in his case it was blinding burning non-loving light). But at least he was doing something in his own twisted way. What are we doing?

Some questions that I ask myself and I would wonder in your life maybe ask yourself the same thing:
- Who are non-Christians that right now you pray for by name on a regular basis?
- Who are non-Christians that you have been building friendships with and hanging out with socially? When is the last time you went to dinner, or a movie with a non-Christian?
- Do you even think about those outside the faith, or just your friends who are already Christians?
- How will others know that the guy on the plane is not a normal Christian, if we are spending our time all consumed with Christian-things and Christian community rather than also building relationships with those outside the faith?
So when they see the shirt on that guy, they know it isn't the norm as they have a friend (us) who isn't like that. Who are we are friend to right now, so when the see that guy in the shirt they think of us and know we aren't all like that?
We may not wear offensive shirts (and I hope we never do), but what are we individually doing - so that people don't just think that all Christians are like the one wearing the shirt? How will people know or experience "salt and light" if we are all just focusing inward to have our social needs met and our Christian sub-culture grow stronger?
I guess my personal conviction is that I was angry at the guy for wearing the shirt and totally disagree with what he was doing. But then I ask myself, what am I doing? And how will others know that the guy in the shirt is not a typical Christian, if we are all only hanging out with Christians? If we in church leadership are only focusing on making Christians more comfortable than training them for the mission Jesus sent us on? I am not talking about evangelism in the classic way here - I am talking about being ourselves and allowing people we are in relationships with and spending time with and discussing what we believe with as they gain trust in us? I have found it is quite easy and everyone outside the faith I have become friends with actually love talking about "religion", but it is after trust is built and relationships are there.
As much as I hated the shirt and detested the manner of which he chose to project what he believed Jesus would, at least he was doing something. I hated how he did it, believe me. I wish he was not wearing that shirt and it makes me angry even thinking about it again. But at least he was trying to do something.

Dan asks some great questions... Anyone have any answers?

Written by Dan Kimball on Monday, January 30, 2006, 02:00 PM.
Last modified on Monday, January 30, 2006, 02:00 PM.

 

A Learned to Learner Litany of Transformation?
Leonard Sweet

A Learned to Learner Litany of Transformation?
by Leonard Sweet

I used to be a learned professor. Now I'm a learner.

When I was learned, life was a quiz show. Now that I'm a learner, life is a discovery channel.

When I was learned, it was a question of how much I knew. Now that I'm a learner, it's a question of how much I'm being stretched.

When I was learned, knowledge was everything. Now that I'm a learner, kindness is everything.

When I was learned, knowledge went to my head. Now that I'm a learner, knowledge travels the longest foot in the universe?-the foot that separates my head from my heart.

When I was learned, I used to point my finger and pontificate. Now that I'm a learner, I slap my forehead all the time

When I was learned, I used to think I was the best. Now that I'm a learner, I do the best I can.

When I was learned, I was frightened of new ideas. Now that I'm a learner, I'm just as frightened of old ideas.

When I was learned, I looked to the past: to have confirmed the set of beliefs I already had. Now that I'm a learner, I look to the future: to grow, be stretched, and remain open to what I don't know.

When I was learned, I knew where I was going. Now that I'm a learner, I don't know where I'm going----but I know whom I've going with.

When I was learned, I loved to talk. Now that I'm a learner, I'd prefer to listen, because that's when I'm learning.

When I was learned, I had something to teach everybody. Now that I'm a learner, everybody has something to teach me.

When I was learned, I was impatient with dumb people. Now that I'm a learner, I'm grateful when people are patient enough to dumb down to me and care enough to smarten me up.

When I was learned, I thought that all knowledge was a form of power. Now that I'm a learner, I suspect much knowledge is a form of weakness.

When I was learned, life was knowledge about God. Now that I'm a learner, life is knowledge of God.

When I was learned, I knew where my nose was headed. Now that I'm a learner, I go where my nose leads me.

When I was learned, mission meant "go to give." Now that I'm learned, mission work is becoming pilgrimage: mission means "go to learn."

When I was learned, my life revolved around what other people thought about me. Now that I'm a learner, my life revolves around what I think about myself and what God thinks about me.

When I was learned, from the high ground of hindsight I instructed the past on where it went wrong. Now that I'm a learner, the past instructs me about how I can right the future.

When I was learned, the power and mystery were in the big words. Now that I'm a learner, the power and mystery are in the small, simple words.

When I was learned, I thought that the educational system was so much better than the market, the other main channel for the mediation of cultural capital. Now that I'm a learner, I realize just how closed and controlling the knowledge industry can be.

When I was learned, I deemed the great threats those made dangerous by strength. Now that I'm a learner, I deem the great threats those made dangerous by weakness.

When I was learned, I loved to fill out questionnaires. Now that I'm a learner, questionnaires are an exercise in saying "I Dunno" since I keep checking the "don't know" box. ("Don't know" doesn't mean "don't care")

When I was learned, I imagined myself the church's resident "know-it-all." Now that I'm a learner, I'm more willing to admit I don't know everything.

What I was learned, I was always trying to speed things up. Now that I'm a learner, I'm always trying to slow things down, even when I'm speeding up.

When I was learned, I bragged about how our knowledge is an ever deepening ocean. Now that I'm a learner, I shudder at how our wisdom is an ever-shrinking drop.

When I was learned, I said, "Take it from me." Now that I'm a learner, I say, "Don't take it from me." I boast no immaculate perceptions. I see through a glass dimly.

I'm still an academic. As a theologian, I have my little bottle of Windex and am cleaning that glass for all it's worth. I'm trying to get rid of as much fog and film as I can. But the best I will ever to is to "know in part." I will never "know it all." God's ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8) , and God's thoughts not our thoughts.

There are still some know-it-alls out there. Some people are like Moses. They think they can see the face of God . . . and live.

The best we can do is hear God's voice, and in rare moments of mystical and metaphorical ecstasy, gently touch his face.

Written by Leonard Sweet on Friday, October 7, 2005, 09:56 AM.
Last modified on Friday, October 7, 2005, 09:57 AM.

 

Preaching to the Postmodern Choir by Eutychus Bailey
by Eutychus Bailey

(Editors Note: The following article was written on 2 March 2044 by Eutychus Bailey, author and former North American pastor. Because of amazingly quick internet access and the exponential growth of micro-processing speeds, we are now able to publish this column forty years before it was actually written.This gives us the chance to get an unknowingly futurist perspective on where things are heading from this pragmatist writer observing his own times.)

2 MARCH 2044 Eutychus Report:
PREACHING TO THE POMO CHOIR

Many of us now laugh at ourselves when we look back at the last 40 years of ministry. Near the turn of the century all the postmodern stuff was really hot. It was so foreign to the generations that came before us that we spent a lot of time talking to ourselves and to them about it. Now, for sure we needed to flesh out what it meant. I think we might have been too confused to really take it to the streets much because we were so freshly running away from the Evangelical Epilogue (or were we running away from its multi-colored foam mic covers, I forget?) But there was a real sense that for about a decade we were mostly preaching to the Pomo choir.

Here's what we were preaching to the choir:

1) IT'S NOT ABOUT DOING CHURCH, IT'S ABOUT BEING THE CHURCH

We taught that much of the way people thought of following Christ was about doing church. It was too often about certain actions (legalism) that qualified you as in and others as out. We justly strove to be the church in a real and authentic way instead. Unfortunately, for a long time we were preaching this more forcefully to other postmodern leaders on web-sites and at conferences than to ourselves. It took a while for us to fully teach this to our OWN churches. We found it was a lot harder for the church to be the church than it was for us to re-fashion our vision around the idea of being the church. But eventually we did change our focus from preaching this self-evident but somehow lost truth to the choir (for being so linear and logical Modernity still made little common sense to us). We started to bring it to our communities and that's when the real change started happening. Or you might say it started when we ourselves as leaders started to be the church instead of just doing church.

2) IT'S NOT ABOUT GOING TO A SERVICE, IT'S ABOUT A LIFE OF SERVICE

This was a huge shift for people back in the day, believe it or not. At one time there was a general sense that church was not only a place (church building) but also that it was the thing that happened on Sunday. Again, very justly we early postmodern leaders cried out regarding this violation of holistic ecclesiology. But most of our crying early on went again to the choir. And unfortunately we still spent most of our time on that thing that happened on Sunday. We changed their names from services to worship gatherings which was such a key term change. Our glossary was right on. But the life of service we were to be living out from Monday through Saturday didnt receive as much emphasis in our time as it should have early on. We still spent the majority of our time on crafting a worship experience for our pomo audience. The other serving stuff took a back seat because of the tyranny of the urgent. Sundays and Saturday nights came every week and we had to deliver. That delivery still had so much of the service baggage in it but we didn't pick up on it very quickly. It took us a while to teach old dogs (ourselves) new tricks.

3) IT'S NOT ABOUT POINTING THE WAY TO JESUS, IT'S ABOUT LIVING THE WAY OF JESUS

We felt as though evangelism was totally messed up in the Modern Church. We felt that the idea of targeting post-Christians or disillusioned generations was contrary to pomo sensibilities. We thought evangelistic programs or evangelistic events were wholly inauthentic. We were right. Especially when you consider that the Modern Church was much better at pointing the way to Jesus than living the way of Jesus. Unfortunately, we started out by doing neither. Too often we were lured by the limelight of cultural relativity and we began to live the way of culture. The counter-cultural Way of following Jesus that is so well-developed in our mid-century church was still in its infancy. And the early postmodern church wasnt all that counter-cultural. It didn't set trends much it mostly followed them. Becoming trendy didnt have the negative bite to Christians that it does today in 2044. Many of us sort of liked being trendy and forgot to forge past being in the world to the not of it part. But we figured this one out eventually, and people really began to live in a counter-cultural Way. The Way of Jesus that is.

4) IT'S NOT ABOUT THE POWER OF POSITION, IT'S ABOUT THE POWER OF STORIES

The church of Modernity seemed to be completely focused on power. Power got things done. Those that had it were to be envied. Those that didn't had to get out of the way. We, of course, were NOT in power in those days. None of us had stations of real positional influence. We didn't care, obviously. Instead of chasing after power our whole lives as our fathers and grandfathers did we simply turned the value system on its head. Power was evil. Power was the problem. Power was to be released, not grasped. This sounded much more like Jesus to us. And it was and is. We felt like the only real power for the church was the power of stories. Our stories counted. The stories of those around us. The Grand Story of God. These held power. But our stories often lacked spiritual vitality in those days, and we didn't know many of the stories of the post-Christian pomo people around us either. Perhaps we were too busy formulating our ideas to get away from updating our blogs and actually chat with someone across the street. Perhaps we became so focused on the idea of story that we forgot our own story and why Jesus meant so much to us personally. But eventually we figured this one out too. We started to live the story, and tell it, and find it out in others. And we realized we had marginalized the Redemption Story too much in our re-designed worship gatherings. We re-discovered its centrality and that returned us to the true power of story in our churches.

I'm glad we rebounded from our preaching to the choir season as postmodern Christ-followers about 35 years ago. I suppose we were only human, and we found out like so many before us that preaching what we should do to those already mostly convinced was easier than really living it. Of course, our preaching was on blogs and discussion boards and at conferences. But it was preaching and screaming to the choir none-the less. We called it an emerging conversation back then.

Written by by Eutychus Bailey on Wednesday, July 27, 2005, 10:32 PM.
Last modified on Wednesday, July 27, 2005, 10:40 PM.

 

 

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