During my time at Spring Harvest this year I enjoyed the Lead Zone which was led by:
- Debra Green – Elder at IVY Manchester, Leader of Redeeming Communities
- Mark Madavan – led a church outside Southampton for 10 years, born in Canada, California, Plymouth, London etc; 44 years old
Jesus in the Gospel
Mt 16:15 – who do people say I am? It is a simple question with a simple answer, and yet in the church we have lots of definitions for this, even in our head we have lots of different definitions!
Explain the Gospel message, would you be happy to do it? Four spiritual laws, or the four images. We often make it formulaic. That makes Jesus a part player in the story. The Good News is Jesus Christ. We need to understand he isn’t a part player but the source of here life comes from.
Tom Wright in his book Simply Jesus challenges us to find the gospel within the gospel. We need to get to the level below. The Reformation took control away from the church, and coming back to Jesus was great. An emphasis on grace, but it pushed Jesus away from the Gospel. It moved the gospel away from the Gospels and into the realm of Paul’s writings. It moved away from who was Jesus, what did he do. We shouldn’t be able to share the Gospel without referring to and quoting Jesus.
Anyone have the moment preparing a talk linked to a parable and then ask why had Jesus said something ay the end that spoils it. We come with too many answers, not enough questions.
How did Jesus describe himself? What did he say. Don’t ignore the rest of the New Testament, but how did they get to the awe of God they had, the cosmic earthly Jesus. did Jesus say he was?
The context affects who he said he was – the disciples versus non-Jews versus Jews.
What is contemporary culture – is ti us, is it the church, is it non-Christians how do we think about that.
1.2 Jesus in God’s story
Colossians 1 – “all of creation is being redeemed” mentioned seven times in six verses. From p. 20 in the theme book, p. 26 his actions showing what is the Kingdom of God – that broad view beyond building the church and it’s own narrow definition. It should change the way we pray – your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. It is more than our personal salvation, it is all about the way that we live our lives, and God being in all things and redeeming all things.
Have we adopted too narrow a view of the Good News, have we made the cross all about our personal salvation rather than the wider Kingdom views. Has recruitment become the overarching purpose of the church?
Scot McKnight talks about “gospeling” where Jesus becomes our king by sharing the whole story fr good to be put back into the concept of Good News.
Prayer Network in 1993, praying for the city of Manchester for seven years, in big gatherings four times a year. Prayed for crime, education, media, law and justice, housing etc. So would interview people about their real life situations, the This Time Tomorrow concept. The church became enlightened on what was happening, and as more aware could pray more effectively for God’s kingdom to come on earth – being specific and having understanding.
What is the difference between growing my church and spreading the Kingdom?
- The Kingdom doesn’t need the church, but the church should develop the Kingdom.
- Sacred and secular divide was such a negative issue
- Coming to faith is more important than bums on seats.
- How do you measure success – people there or reach – sewing seed not reaping corn?
- The Internet Cafe – called The Vine and Branches Internet Cafe – spoke to people, prayed with them, helped them back into work – a mixture of sharing faith and social action
- Street Pastors – invariably asked why do we do it.
Leaders are always frustrated as we are barely scratching at what we want to do. Get used to it as that is what leadership is about.
What did Jesus say, what was his mission – yes the Spirit is on him but it is wider than that, he is always the King of the Kingdom in parables. Get frustrated to see more of God rather than at God or others.