Pioneer ministries and fresh expressions of church

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Thursday, 7 January 2010

Growing Jesus-community in a postmodern world

Bart Woodhouse offered this reflection on the challenge of forming Christian community among unchurched young adults at the recent pioneer selection conference.  Bart and the project where he is working (The Beacon, near Dartford) were recently co-opted into VentureFX to bring experience and learning as the scheme develops):

It is my world not some foreign place
It is a Facebook account and my hourly status
It is the corporate machine seeing how hard they can push
It is the blog I read, and the one I mean to write
It is the politician’s word-spinning promise
It is a police force that I don’t trust
It is the family that I don’t know
It is the Buddha on my mantle piece
It is the crucifix around my neck
It is the intoxicating paradox of blended of ideas
It is both the mortgage and the endless demands in red
It is the wanting of “wanting”
It is the need of my next “Bench Hoodie”
It is X Factor
It is Strictly Come Dancing
It is the celebrity in me
It is a thumb straining text conversation
It is a numb feeling of condemnation
It is a haemorrhaging meaning – a fractured truth
It is a world of choice – my human right
It is the condom I need to wear
It is the next viral scare
It is my hunger for experience
It is my virtual X-Box life
It is my longing to be deeply known
It is my fear that I’ll be on my own
It is my pursuit of an accepted identity
It is the company of my iPod shuffle - knowing what song I need to hear
It is CO2 emissions and my energy saving kettle
It is my fifth holiday with Ryan Air
It is my SMART car parked on my drive
It is a Coldplay lyric haunting my vulnerable head
It is a sense of hopelessness – being out of control
It is global poverty sanitized and always elsewhere
It is the science of “Dolly” the cloned sheep
It is globalisation – homogenisation
It is an American cultural coup d’√©tat
It is the uneasiness with “Modern Britain”
It is a fleeting thought about the BNP
It is an embarrassing adolescence that seems unable to end
It is a world I hate
It is a world I love
It is a world I don’t trust
It is a world that no longer has a sense of its future

And to create a Jesus community in this world existing on its own event horizon:


It is to listen and listen some more
It is to hear the Spirit
It is to hear the whisper of GOD IN THE WORLD!
It is to listen to the cry of his missional whisper – Kingdom!, Grace!, Hope!
(can you hear it?)
It is to recognise the red-eyed face of God at mission and join in!
It is to listen to the robust and needful questions in this world
The “why?”
The “who?”
The “what?”
The “where?”
It is to listen to the complexity – the hopelessness
It is listen as a conversation partner
Trusted
Native
Agenda-less
Familiar and yet different
It is being part of a penniless community of lottery winners
It is imagination
It is Spirit dreaming
It is a conversation with no final sentence
It is to create a place of
Belonging
Discovery
Safety
Hope
It is a dangerous place, an edgy place
It is arguments
It is difference
It is Relationships
It is encounter
It is transformation
It is community!


Simply it is an out stretched hand, and invitation to discover “why you are who you are” and to step into the rhythm of the Kingdom life, that because of the cross, has forgotten how to stop…

I hope you will find this useful for your own reflection on pioneering ministry in this culture.  It isn't copyright but please ask Bart before reproducing this material.

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