Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fathers and the Gospel

Just reflecting...

We have just had a most wonderful week. Having old and new friends around our dining room table was simply extraordinary. The laughter, the listening, the newness and the familiar, shaded our home with a deep sense of gratitude.

Terry and Wendy Virgo were simply amazing. Brushing the 70's, Terry continues to pioneer and demonstrate, in all humility, the entrepreneurial apostle that he is. His ministry was so expansive and enlarging. Always drawing us into the big picture, this apostle father so honored us as he took us to the texts and left us very tender, so desiring for us to live in the big spaces that the Father has created for us.

New Frontiers, Terry and Wendy's life investment is entering a new chapter. Rather than charge down the age old trap of handing over to one man [reproducing apostolic succession], Terry has identified around 20 apostles who will spearhead their own apostolic spheres continuing to celebrate their past, holding on to a common DNA, and anticipating their shared future, while each sphere surges in their gospel pioneering opportunities.

I am envious. That is the way we should have gone. Rather than fragment, we should have celebrated a theology of multiplication. Authentic bible fathers understand that the gospel grows. Wherever Jesus is declared, Gen 1:28 is activated: "Increase, multiply, fill the earth...". This Gospel will be preached to all nations then the end will come. We should have changed history not succumb to it. Fathers are there to empower their sons to "Leave and cleave." For the sake of the gospel, fathers are to raise up their sons and daughters, empowered with the beauty of Jesus, the punch of the width of his gospel story, to embark on a journey that will fill the earth.

Sitting with a Prof from one of the local universities recently, he, a student of movements asked me if I thought that movements are able to prevent implosion or institutionalization. His perspective was that movements are one generational. They will die or slowly fade into history.

I was less pessimistic. My reply to him was that I believe we can change the course of history but it will cost much. We have to return to keeping the great Jesus story as the full and center piece of the brotherhood. Our intent simply cannot be to brand, imperialize or seek to defend our history. They are transitional killers. We have to keep the gospel as the big story, with none other even closely second.

Secondly, as fathers have to continuously remind ourselves, that we are supposed to raise up spiritual sons and daughters to 'leave and cleave' and celebrate that! Apostolic christianity was never designed to ever grow into one papal uber -structure. Rather, fathers are always raising up their sons to leave home, get mature, start having families of their own and multiply gospel communities and movements continually.

Thirdly, as the sons spread their wings and learn to fly, the biblical picture is not to be dismissive, nor alienate the fathers. Looking exclusively for a peer group is as dangerous as is the notion of fathers trying to keep the sons under one roof. One is not better than the other.

We know there is no "the model". But there is one Gospel. The greatest gift we can give our children is not one pattern but one message. Then let them fly and watch Jesus and the Holy Spirit get to work. Match this with the E4 partnerships [not over us], and this glorious last days church can still be quite remarkable. I am hopeful that we will get fathers who see this gospel, this Jesus, as the greatest gift we can hand on.

As always... just thinking

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