Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Find your own way...

I’ve begun reading a book called “Community of Kindness” by Steve Sjogren and Rob Lewin (Steve Sjogren planted and is pastor of the Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio). Last night I read a segment that really spoke to me. It says, in a slightly different way, something that we’ve been hearing from the Lord for some time now.

The segment is entitled “Find Your Own Way”:

“You must respect and honor everyone’s tradition. God has brought the gospel to you through the hands of others and by their hard work. But if honoring them requires you to ignore the current calling of Christ in your life, you must choose the way of Christ. For some this may come at great cost.

If you wait for permission from your sponsoring group, you will never get far very quickly or efficiently. Don’t spend time worrying about your actions too much. ‘Is what I’m doing really the denomination’s style?’ That sort of concern will handcuff you and keep you from church-planting effectiveness.

Some churches can be described as high Episcopal while others could be called high Vineyard, according to their tradition – that is, they are conforming to the most rigorous traditions of the group with which they are affiliated. They are more concerned with those traditions than they are with their total effectiveness in the community. We believe that “high” anything equals a non-growing church virtually all of the time. No offense is intended toward any group. But those who put the primacy of paying homage to their group will not have adequate energy to pour themselves in to the task of properly planting a thriving church.”


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