Spring Harvest: Church Actually Day 4
I really enjoyed the Lead Zone so I returned for another session on the day we were looking at the church being the body of Christ – relating together and serving.
Working together for peace
Today Juliet Kilpin read Jeremiah 29:4-7
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
‘Do good to the place you are in’, she said, ‘Bring all your experience of God to that place to make it better.’ This is a key passage as to how Christians are relate to the changes that are taking plae in society. The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom meaning wholeness – it is claiming heaven on earth – the New Testement calls it the Kingdom.
The church is on an adventure to live out today what could be in the future! This is an adventure because we are following a trouble maker – he was hated and killed beacause he made others feel uncomfortable. This adventure binds us together in communitas or camaraderie
Comparing the church to movements such as the occupy movement and the Arab Spring, Juliet Kilpin observed that these movements were very flat and asked if the church needs such a hierarchy.
The importance of relationships
Viv Thomas saw success as coming from God enabling us to take risks. Failure is fantastic – our success comes from God – don’t take yourself too seriously.
He also saw being fully alive as being alive in God and coming from our relationships with others rather than in self-actualizing. We are defined by our relationships not our achievements.
Authority comes out of loving relationships – not control – leadership is often about relinquishing control and asking questions.
Jesus made a point of relating to all sorts especially those on the margins.
Mission to the marginalised
Juliet Kilpin finally outlined the work of Urban Expressions who have teams that move into inner city areas to reach the poor and marginalised and some have even planted churches. In 2008 there was a tipping point and there are now more people in the world that live in cities than don’t. Christians tend to love in suburbs but more people live in urban areas in our cities. She exhorted us, even if our calling is not to the cities, to care for the poor and marginalised.