May Legitimization & Release Be The Fuel…

In Austin there are some students at UT who are committed to seeing the Gospel spread in a simple/reproducible way that brings light to darkness and life the death. They are determined to learn new, and fresh ways of living out their purpose as the ecclesia in the their city. This has been modeled for us in overseas missions for years, and it would behoove us to learn from these movements.

We must stop practicing evangelism through extraction in our attempts to fill and grow our current institutional churches. Do some people find home in these churches? Absolutely. Will these alone serve as a conduit for the Gospel to spread rapidly throughout the states, infiltrating the darkest places in our culture? Of course not. In our current mindset we are beginning to see many outwardly focused institutional faith communities, which is a beautiful thing. However, even these leave us with only one option if we actually do go into a dark place to reach that area with the Gospel. (Which is very rare for an individual believer, or group of believers to do. We are typically too busy with our “church friends & activities”, and uncomfortable with sin and darkness to do so). That option is to extract a person out of their current circles of influence in order “save them”, and then “church them”. There are many con’s to this form of practice, which I hope to dissect more in the future. So, not only does it remove the new disciple from the places in their lives that they have the most influence, but it also creates a bitterness in the minds of those who remain in that former circle. Those who remain behind are confused as to where their friend has gone, and are now resentful towards the Christian who “stole their friend”.

I am convinced that we must start equipping and empowering believers to take the Gospel into dark places, and plant Gospel roots deeply there. This means that NEW communities/church bodies must take root/birth in that place. This is much different from extracting people from one place, and giving them no outlet to grow other than an “established church”, which is far removed from their previous circles. For this to happen we must have Spiritual Fathers, current Christian leaders, and current local churches who will begin to release apostolic leaders into these cracks of society by legitimizing the birth of new communities of faith that will multiply, and flourish naturally.

The key here is that believers must be affirmed, equipped, and empowered by current “Christian leaders” through acknowledging these new communities as legitimate local churches. A freeing realization I have recently stumbled upon is the fact that in order to begin legitimizing these new communities of faith does NOT necessarily mean we need to DE-legitimize the former. (I believe that many pastors have walls built up towards organic expressions of church because those practicing simple church have sought to DE-legitimize what those pastors are doing. I am guilty of this. This makes it impossible to function healthily as the body of Christ)

May we truly begin to respect one another, and work together as the body of Christ, realizing that none of us can reach EVERYONE apart from the other. In the name of Jesus may we begin to recognize apostolic leaders, and release them to start new communities of faith in un-reached areas. I wonder what would happen if we started recognizing the apostolic call in people’s lives as much as we recognize people’s “call” to “lead worship” on a stage or “teach” an existing body of believers. The focus here is making new disciples, and not simply trying to protect or sustain the only thing we know. Young leaders: be affirmed, be released, be encouraged, and be set free to fulfill the great commission.

I am believing God to raise up Spiritual Fathers to affirm you in your pursuit. However, do not allow the lack of approval, affirmation, and legitimization from current “Christian leaders” hinder you from pursuing what God has instructed for you to do.

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7 thoughts on “May Legitimization & Release Be The Fuel…

  1. I really think that you have hit the nail on the head. I really think the main problem i see with the church using missional communities as evangelism outreach is that the local church really has a jacked up view of contextualization for starters.

    plus, if you look at the life of Jesus, you would see that God HIMSELF made incarnate identified with the people that he was trying to reach.

  2. Pingback: City-Wide Missional Community Network « A Holy Discontent’s Weblog

  3. Can you show me Biblically how the Emergent Church is BIBLICAL?

    While I sincerely love many who are following the ways of the “Emergent Church”; it cannot be accepted as truth when the movement itself, is begining to deny any absolute truth. It’s disgusting and is leading more people to hell than it is to eternity with God. Our priority is not to bend scripture to fit our culture. Our only priority, as evangalists should be to save lost souls… not to have huge mega-churches, OR to lead people away from the Biblical church that Christ made. The Emergent church, for the sake of unity and peace, is walking away from Biblical truth. Please don’t let this continue Aaron, it’s not right.

    Don’t be offended at this or even take it personally. I don’t know you, but know what you’re supporting. We must look to and only rely on scripture as it is the Word of God. How does God’s word teach us to do church? We need to follow that! We must understand that not all will choose God and not all will come to Him, thus we continue to preach His word regardless; it’s what he has called us to!

    “for the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
    2 Timothy 4:3-4

  4. @John: hey there John. Wow. I am a bit confused after reading your comment today. From the first sentence/question all the way to the end you seem to have me very confused with someone else. First, I’m wondering why & how you have labeled me, our organization, or what we do as “emergent”. I don’t even know what the heck that even means anymore. I have never claimed to be “Emergent”, nor have any of us claimed to be house church, mega, cell, etc. (Pick your model) We don’t claim a model. BEING THE CHURCH is not about a model. So, I have no answer for your first question. I never made mention that the emergent church was or was not Biblical.
    I think you and I agree a lot more than you might think. Again, i think you have me mistaken for someone else. I went back and read the post that you commented on, and am truly wondering how you could draw such conclusions based upon anything I wrote in that post. Please help me understand. Do you realize that the entire post was heavily influenced by what Baptist Missionaries have been doing overseas for the last two decades? Most of the post was about affirming apostolic leaders to take the Gospel into dark places and see it planted there…just like Paul, Peter, and others did in scripture. (It’s how the early church spread and grew rapidly) How in God’s Holy name are you finding a problem with that? (This is a genuine question. No anger here. Just straight up confusion)
    You said in your comment, “I don’t know you, but know what you’re supporting.” What exactly is it that you claim that i am supporting? You follow that by saying, “we must look to and only rely on scripture as it is the word of God.” I COULDN’T AGREE MORE. What led you to believe I thought any differently?
    You then asked a VERY loaded question: “How does God’s word teach us to DO church? We need to follow that!” How would you claim that God’s word teaches us to DO church? I can assure you that it looks drastically different from what “church” in America looks like today. Your push to look at what the Bible says about how to “do” church is EXACTLY what the Church in America NEEDS to do very badly (myself included) because we are WAY off my friend. (again, myself included) I simply strive day in and day out to LIVE out the Gospel in the most pure way i know how to based upon scripture, and Christ’s command on my life to BE THE CHURCH, not “do” church.
    I hope you hear my heart. My response is heavily based upon confusion as to how you have drawn such strong conclusions, and where you drew them from. I would LOVE to chat with you more about this sometime. Please feel free to email me, and we can set up a time to chat on the phone. Again, I would submit that you and I are not as different as you might think. I hope you are well in your life, and pursuit of the Gospel. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

    -aaron snow-

  5. John,

    Not every Emergent is theologically bad. There are some good names out there like Dan Kimball, Joshua Harris, Mark Driscoll, and Matt chandler that hold to orthodox, evangelical christianity. these people hold their doctrine tightly, but have a loose grip on methodology. in fact, a few of these people are “cool calvinists” that actually want to see people saved and are somewhat charasmatic.

    there are three books I would reccommend. the first is the book of Acts. that one should be easy to find. the second one is called “Listening to the beliefs of the emergent church” by driscoll, kimball, doug pagitt, john burke and karen ward. that book is more of a point/counterpoint book that should help you get a broader perspective than what some wing-nut preacher gives. the third is a book called “Total Church” by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester. I went to this conference in san diego not to long ago and it looks like theologically these guys have their heads on straight. They pretty much go the middle of the road when it comes inbetween traditional and emerging churches.

  6. Sweet post. It’s important to know that there are many biblical truths that no one should ever stray from, but there are also some things that God puts in the heart of individuals to pursue, which are different from what exists in others. It’s really important for us to learn the difference between those two things, but without humility, I think it’s impossible. A revelation of all that can allow us to see our differences as beautiful and necessary in order for us to be a complete body. Ministries are different, and even the passions within the people of a ministry SHOULD differ on some level. (If two people are exactly the same, they can split up and do twice as much)

    Blessing others in their pursuit of what God’s placed in them is big time, and I think you’re right on with what you said here. We need to learn how to live this better instead of elevating our personal passions to a standard for everyone else to live by.
    Let’s be Humility.

    -Lee

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