This last week I had an extraordinary experience…love that word “extraordinary”.
It is defined as:
- Beyond what is ordinary or usual: extraordinary authority.
- Highly exceptional; remarkable: an extraordinary achievement.
- Employed or used for a special service, function, or occasion: an extraordinary professor.
I mean it here as something unusual. I joined a dog group on Facebook this last week. They have them for every breed possible, I joined, a English Springer Spaniel one, because I just got a new puppy and just love the breed. Something extraordinary was going on there. These people were loading up pictures of their dogs: puppies, adult, senior dogs. They uploaded videos of their dogs. Pictures with dialogue with their dogs. Under each picture or video was about 50 or so comments from the others in the group. The comments were so positive, encouraging, loving, rejoicing with, sympathizing and sometimes they would speak the truth in love to one another. Now I know that these people are human beings so I am sure they hurt one another once in a while. Yet as I have been following the group so much positive love is flowing around for English Springer Spaniels and one another. That is the focus of their love, their passion, my love and passion. We share this in common.
There are several groups for Organic or Ekklesia church expression and as I have been in those groups, something seems to be lacking. They are boring and just not as much fun as hanging out with the dog people. Why is that?
I love to talk about what Jesus is doing in my life. I love to hear what others are experiencing in Jesus. It would be so much fun if I could have a group like the dog people group that just want to talk about Jesus experiences. There would be so much love and positive expression of Christ going on.
Frank Viola in his book “Reimagining Church” has this wonderful “I have a dream…” at the beginning of his book. A adaption of Martin Luther Kings’ “I have a dream” speech. I would like to give you that quote
“I Have A Dream
I have a dream that one day the church of Jesus Christ will rise up to her God-given calling and begin to live out the true meaning of her identity–which is, the very heartthrob of God Almighty–the fiancée of the King of all Kings.
I have a dream that Jesus Christ will one day be Head of His Church again. Not in pious rhetoric, but in reality.
I have a dream that groups of Christians everywhere will begin to flesh out the New Testament reality that the church is a living organism and not an institutional organization.
I have a dream that the clergy/laity divide will someday be an antique of church history, and the Lord Jesus Himself will replace the moss-laden system of human hierarchy that has usurped His authority among His people.
I have a dream that multitudes of God’s people will no longer tolerate those man-made systems that have put them in religious bondage and under a pile of guilt, duty, condemnation, making them slaves to authoritarian systems and leaders.
I have a dream that the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ will be the focus, the mainstay and the pursuit of every Christian and every church. And that God’s dear people will no longer be obsessed with spiritual and religious things to the point of division. But that their obsession and pursuit would be a person–the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have a dream that countless churches will be transformed from high-powered business organizations into spiritual families–authentic Christ-centered communities–where the members know one another intimately; love one another unconditionally, bleed for one another deeply, and rejoice with one another unfailingly.
I have a dream today….”
See that dog group is very nice but it doesn’t give the life of Christ to me. Only another believer, a group, of believers can do that. That group of believers needs to have the expression of Christ as the center of their hearts…just as, those dog lovers have, English Springer Spaniels, as the center focus of their hearts. Oh how my heart longs for that. That is why that group is so attractive to me…their love and devotion is poured out on their breed of dog…it is a twisted expression of what the church was meant to be. A group of people, gathered together with Jesus as their focus, loving on one another.
I have a dream that one day Jesus will build His church expression in a group that I am a part of.