When I woke up this morning, it slowly occurred to me that I am not the centre of the universe.
At times with the life I live and how wrapped up I get in my thoughts, it can certainly appear that way, and I can behave in a way that suggests how mystified that the rest of creation doesn’t have a similar outlook. Yet in reality there is more to life than me.
God is really good in reinforcing this reality, and while I search for church (a story for another blog entry), I am grateful for others who are inclined to know that if anything life is centred on Christ. We could call it Christocentric. I am grateful that this focus on Christ being the Centre, the Purpose, the Reason, the Senior Pastor, the Shepherd, the Great High Priest has motivated others to write about how life in community should be outworked in the light of this.
I think it was late last year when I first came across Church in a Circle. What strikes me about it is how simple it is. By simple I mean easy to read, easy to understand, written in a way that you can pick up easily, yet has great depth to it. I believe I’ve barely scratched the surface in some of the stuff I’ve read on there, but it certainly attracts me to read it more.
It should come as no surprise then that I highly recommend it for your reading. It is good at challenging to consider how do you as a Christian community live out the truths found in the light of Christ. How do we live out the identity as all being a royal priesthood, as all having a call and a purpose to encourage each other and build each other until we become like Christ.
To give you a flavour of some of the quality stuff written over there, I refer you to:
A Tale Of Two Workers: A big part of the blog is about seeing the gathering of believers changing from being an audience experience to being far more participatory. This allegory outlines it superbly.
Lance’s Confession Reveals Our Competitive Culture: In the light of the Lance Armstrong scandal, I didn’t find anything better that was written on the subject in a way that brought the attention back on us. One of those soul-searching articles that will not rest with finger-pointing.
The Problem With Circles Part 2: The two parts are worth the read. Obviously as the title of the blog suggests the authors are not about the status quo of pew-sitting, all lined up like ducks for shooting. Their alternative is bound to have some reservations and concerns. These are addressed somewhat in these parts, but it is also refreshing to see the honest analysis.
Church In A Disconnected World: This is the challenge alright and in the brief article it certainly depicts how great the challenge is in the First World. If you weren’t aware of the problem before, you will certainly be after it, and seek God to know how to change in line with His way.
Tomorrow’s Church: This is the first part of what is virtually the manifesto for what the church endeavours to be. This blog is based on the journey the writers are taking in doing and being church for their generation. If you want a good bearing on what they’re all about and how that should inform you, then give this series a go.
Efficient Or Effective: People often wheel out the mantra of things need to be done decently and in order to reinforce the status quo of service formats and liturgies. This article exposes the errors in this thinking and suggests that the alternative might actually be more in line with the order God desires for His people. Give it a read and then give it a go!
I hope to write more on my own journey and the one being taken by our family in our search for church. In the meantime Kevin-Neil and Kathleen Ward on this brilliant blog are greatly contributing to encouraging us in the journey. It is a great resource for the Body of Christ and I cannot recommend Church In A Circle highly enough. Please pray for them both that as they seek to be obedient to God that in return will yield a good harvest for God and a blessing for them.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden