"a family of churches"
How does one frame an apostolic story?
For some it is a conversation about starting a movement. For others it is a network and of course for some it is simply maintaining a legacy of the denomination they are in, and given their lives to. Whilst I get the reasons why these words that been used, there was something in me that was not satisfied with those options for us. M and I wanted to find words and essence that reflected our story.
Then there were old friends who journeyed with us from days gone by, who asked us "Are you going to start a team?". Now I know what they mean. The conversation from the 80's onward were all about "the team". Again I do not want to speak disparagingly of those for whom that is their apostolic framework, but we struggled to find that in the text in the way we felt God taking us.
2 Corinthians 10 speaks " we will not boast beyond limits but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us..." This area of influence is exactly the grace space that God has assigned to us. However, this is not the language that either the world or the church understands. So we looked for other language that reflected this glorious triune God, the personal injunctions that the Father has spoken to us, as well as language that folks understand in all nations, cultures and contexts.
Of course God asked us to call him "Father". Good start. Paul, the apostle, refers to himself : "For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel" [1 Cor 4:15]. Then the Lord spoke to me in 2006 asking me: "Will you be a father in my house?".That simple question was powerful - our story would have a strong family dynamic, whatever it would look like. Meryl and I love being parents. We love being a father and mother. It reflects the notion of having children, investing into their lives, then raise them up to leave home, having their own God adventure. That we love.
I asked Terry Virgo how NF discovered this phrased. I loved hearing the story. Now it is our turn. I asked if we could use the same phrase as we are driven by the same desire. In his graciousness he agreed of course.
So genesis collective is a 'family of churches, sharing a common theology, together on mission'