Monday, October 7, 2013

Our Mission - Family I

M and I had a wonderful coffee with Terry and Wendy Virgo on Thursday afternoon. They are a remarkable couple who have held a solid and straight course for over 40 years of ministry. Their mandate to disciple the nations by planting churches has seen them doing this in over 60 countries, with hundreds and hundreds of churches. {New Frontiers is there UK based ministry}

What has been more amazing is to see the humility with which they have multiplied their movement. Rather than simply hand over to one man, they have followed the pattern of scripture [and especially Jesus] by seeing around 20 apostles emerge form their ranks. These they identified, empowered and are now doing wonderful kingdom advancing things globally.

What intrigued me was why they avoided the language of network, movement, denomination, organization... so I asked him. I believe I represented him well when he said that they found themselves using the language of "a family of churches". A conversation then resulted in which the theological accuracy of such a phrase came under scrutiny. The study and debate empowered them more as they began to see it  throughout the text.

As we are exploring the evolving genesis collective story, we are seeking to find the language that is both
 biblically accurate,
 historically proven,
 prophetically essential,
 culturally acceptable.

Like Terry, I have difficulty trying to define an unfolding story with concepts like:
network - could be relational but can be to vague, lacking government and mission;
movement - purpose but lacking shape and biblical architecture;
denomination - often has credibility and history but tends to lack biblical accuracy and relationships;
organisation - has form and shape but lacks biblical gift recognition and Spirit led flexibility;

I think this notion of an apostolic sphere having strong family ingredients is worth considering...

Here is a link to Terry' wonderful teaching on the Ephesians 4 grace gifts:

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