Pneumanaut

the Crucible

eVangelism

Evangelism
The outcome for me personally is namely that I am in a great time of confusion.  I am questioning how to live out the gospel in a narrative as well as practical ways.  I have heard a lot of talk shop dialogue,[43] but it seems that short of traditional or mainstream programs such as ALPHA,  there is very little surrounding evangelism that the emerging church has embraced.  This is why specifically Todd will continue to (help)shape ALPHA more.  So many of the young leaders today who embrace postmodern thinking are fragile in the area of actually using invitation into the kingdom.

We as a generation long to embrace seeing our friends and colleagues come to meet Jesus, but we have mysteriously misplaced any sort of invitation, because we are trying to be unresponsive to a consumer based crowd,[44] or intellect.  If we throw out saying the prayer so that when we die we go to heaven, and somehow breed it with the notion[45]that heaven isn’t’ the goal its the destination, than from an intellectual standpoint the four spiritual laws are inapplicable.  This burdens me so greatly.  It is so confusing.   I long to have someone say or tell me how to lead people to Christ – and a life in the Spirit. I long for a foolproof plan, but this seems like a journey that only I can answer for myself.  It is a spirit quest of unanswered experiments that only seem answerable from praxis…

There is something in me that is so fearful of distancing friends and relationships that I would rather lay in silence than voice some horrible presentation of gospel facts that would identify me with my true tribe of religious fanatical kooks.  I can no longer identify with my Christian sub-culture of religiosity[46] . With  catchy religious Christianese phrases, Jesus junk and proof text slogans, I have died a slow death.   Yet unfortunately I am without replacement words or life mantra.  This is a horrible predicament.  

Methodology
I see mainstream churches continuing to function in their[47] dysfunctions and continue to enfold people into the kingdom of God.  Even if when  I don’t like their methodology[48] or even their delivery system,  my opinion really doesn’t matter.  They are  continuing on in their heritage and doing a great job.  Yet all this still causes me to re-think and question the whole mainstream system.[49]  As Eugene Peterson said “we will never be able to reform the church”.  It makes me wonder if I shouldn’t just attempt to gracefully die.  But that is so far from my genetic DNA, I can’t help but think that there is something else, something better, something that we haven’t yet seen or discovered .  Not something new, but rather something lost.  Something that we have not revisited for years,[50] some combination of the best of all praxis‘.  I long to participate in that, wait for that, not wanting to bite the hand that has sent me, but rather continue on in what place the mainstream church- has created for me.

I have seen there are so many who think in these terms, so many who question, so many who want to lead, and do lead not having a model.  Even Todd, laying down his job 5 years ago, was a cry to our generation of the churched that perhaps our way was not wrong; a way that provided hope… a different way could bring change.  The difficulty with this change being bottom up rather than top down is that it is underground, unnoticed, unbridled, and undiscovered. 

Problmatic is the notion that as pockets of the greatness of these kingdom examples get discovered, they are soaked up, and their genetic spontaneity is lost.  Somehow in the cloning of or the mimicking of  the original character the very Spirit that created them is not transmitted, so by default they become programs or attempts. In turn this reduces them to purpose driven models,[51] void of time in discernment, looking for answers that are directly formed by the Spirit.  Rather, they fall short lacking the prayer and unction that created and spawned their original organic authenticity

Pneumanaut Studio
Has made me more concerned than ever with how we hear from the spirit of God.  Is it through books, tapes ,programs, and best sellers… that DO work…? That’s the confusing part.  The Purpose Driven Model,[52] gets results, and so does the Atkins diet.  However, in the long run, how beneficial is it on the overall system,?  And for a model that is effective, who am I to question it?  Or, why is it even my concern? [53]

Churches?
My hope is to see a hybred type of program that not only reaches out to a lost generation of people,[54] but also one that is relevant to the struggles that challenge our relationships.  As an outcome, I would love to utilize this project to challenge[55] the existing leadership of Emerging/Alt-Church to follow through with listening to the spirit, as well as demonstrating evangelism or demonstrating the kingdom of god.  There is a large component who have been underexposed to this sort of thinking and the stories that accompany them.[56]  Even if in a small way, this project has already been  used to stimulate thought and encourage an experiential understanding of Spirit … In that regard, it is a success.  I hope that through the shape of this project, thus far, the readers and Emerging/Alt-Church will continue to welcome the living and unpredictable Spirit of God as they continue to dictate the future shape of the movement .  Our original intent of “just in time learning” is a beautifully flexible paradigm to work within.  Much of the shape this semester was dictated by questions derived from readers who read last semester’s propositions.  My hope is that this will continue.  I am excited to see this worked out in the context of both mega church and simple church… But mostly really I  long to see mature followers of Jesus experiencing all He has for them.
 Bibliography

[44] Gordon Fee, God’s Empowering Presence (Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1994).

[45] N.T. Wright, Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994).

[46] Dave Tomlinson, The Post-Evangelical (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003).

[47] Dave Tomlinson, The Post-Evangelical (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003).

[48] Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Press, 1995).

[49] Fee, God’s Empowering Presence; The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul.

[50] John Wimber, Power Evangelism (NY, NY: Harper & Row, 1990).

[51] Warren, The Purpose Driven Church.

[52] Warren, The Purpose Driven Church.

[53]  Eric Keck. The Crucible of My Heart Spring 2004 Comments 2004 <www.erickeck.com/comments?u=erickeck&p=1465&link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.erickeck.com%2F2004%2F04%2F16%23a1465>.

[54] John Wimber, Power Evangelism (NY, NY: Harper & Row, 1990).

[55] Fee, God’s Empowering Presence; The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul.

[56] John Wimber, Power Evangelism (NY, NY: Harper & Row, 1990).

[57] Mark Palmer, Conversation, IM (Yahoo, Instant Message, 2003).

[58] Campolo and Mclaren, How the Culture-Controlled Church Neuteed the Gospel.

[59] Fee, God’s Empowering Presence; The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul.

[60] Wright, Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship.

[61] Tomlinson, The Post-Evangelical.

[62] Tomlinson, The Post-Evangelical.

[63] Warren, The Purpose Driven Church.

[64] Fee, God’s Empowering Presence; The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul.

[65] Wimber, Power Evangelism.

[66] Warren, The Purpose Driven Church.

[67] Warren, The Purpose Driven Church.

[68] Eric Keck, www.erickeck.com/comments?u=erickeck&p=1465&link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.erickeck.com%2F2004%2F04%2F16%23a1465.

 



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