Sunday, March 16, 2008
The Flying V Formation
These are excerpts from the Jake Colsen Book "SO YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH ANYMORE" and my last comments on this uncategorized book that is not a church bashing book but a book that constantly points to Jesus and expresses what happens when our focus is staid on Him. (Neil, you say this all the time.....it is Truth)
"...Not all structure is wrong. Simple structures that facilitate sharing his life together can be incredibly positive. The problem comes when structures take on a life of their own and provide a substitute for our dependence on Jesus.
...But Jesus is putting together a church without spot or wrinkle. It includes everyone in this community and around the world who live in a growing relationship with him. .... Jesus saw the church as a reality, not an assignment for his followers to construct. She is growing, all around you. You just can't see it now because your focal point is far short of her beauty and immensity.
...Where Jesus is given first place, the church simply emerges in wonderful ways. He will place you in the body exactly as he desires. And as those relationships grow, you may find yourself surrounded by a group of people who want to walk in more intentional community together. That's an amazing thing when it happens, but still you have to keep your focus on him. Even groups that start out centered on him are easily and quickly tempted to organize themselves to death. When Jesus ceases to be the object of our pursuit, our touch with his body will fade into emptiness.
...It's a system we think we can work through our own initiative and effort, but that is also why it cannot produce the life you hunger for. That's only found in him.
...Real community is not something we fabricate by any means. It is a gift God gives.
...How could obligation ever produce real relationship? Obligations are only necessary when the experience is ineffective or lifeless. When people are living in the life of Jesus, they will treasure every opportunity to connect with other brothers and sisters who are also on this journey. It will not be something they have to do, but something they wouldn't ever want to live without.
...You think of gatherings as meetings to go to and trying to craft the perfect format that will guarantee results that no meeting can guarantee. But you don't see yet that Jesus is always gathering his flock to himself. People from all over the world are finding their hunger for him eclipsing their hunger for anything else and that every substitute they try only adds to their restlessness. As they keep their eye on him, not only do they grow closer to him with each passing day, but they will find themselves alongside others who are headed that way too. Geese fly together like that not because they are obligated to do so, but because it lightens their load and lifts them closer to their goal.
...That's all Jesus ever wanted - one flock drawn to him alone, and each helping lighten the load of others they find going the same direction as they are.
...That's the gathering. It's not when, where or how you meet, but that you are gathering your heart to him. If that's happening, you usually won't find yourself going it alone very long. You'll find others heading the same direction and by traveling together you'll be able to help one another along the way. That's why you can only hurt yourself when you look for people who want to meet a certain way or think like you do about everything. Every person who crosses your path, be they believer or unbeliever, in an institution or outside of it, is a potential partner in this journey. By loving each of them to the degree that they allow, you'll participate in his great gathering.
...But the goal remains the same. It's him! It's always him - not a style of meeting or a preplanned program, not a safe salary, or a predictable future.
...He's not trying to make it difficult; he wants you to experience the very kingdom itself. This is his joy he draws you to, not some tiresome duty or empty promise."