19 March 2007

oBsErVaTiOnS oN tHe wEeKeNd ...sEmInAr oN oRgAnIc cHuRcH...


O.k, now I'll get more serious about the weekend...
it was good to see many familiar faces I didn't see for long time...and when I say familiar faces I'm not only saying that I know the faces, but that I do know the people and feel like family with some of them...
There was also a lot of them I didn't know, and it was nice to see many more leaders from different parts of the country who are coming to join together as part of The Body of God in this nation...
Paulo Pascoal, with his wife Rute here at the picture (some of the familiar faces I enjoyed seeing), is the guy behind all this...
well, I do believe God put all this in his heart ... he has the head aches :-) to try to get pastors and leaders to grasp one single vision for this country , which is for all christians to be spread all over Portugal as One Body, in every town and village, in every area of society, as representatives of Christ, and not of any "denomination" or exclusive form... the vision is that every portuguese or foreigner in this land should be loved and have access to Jesus through His people...
The expressions used were more like, "planting churches", "reaching out to all peoples", have a "church available to all people", etc... but you know what I mean, right ?!!! I just don't like this "churchy language"...

For me is already hard to understand certain kind of expressions, but I enjoyed what I heard... things that need to be listened...

The main speaker was Ngwiza Mkandla from Zimbabwe, and it was good... I think he challenged a lot of those who were there...
the subjects were "Transformed leaders", "Trans. Church", "Trans. city/society", "Trans.nation"... I would add "Transformed structures" and "Transformed mindsets" as well, but that would be probably a too big step ahead for this time here in Portugal...
I would also change some expressions he used like "planting churches" for "making disciples",and others like that, but I could understand what he meant... I guess that's the "language" most of those people better grasp as well... and it would be a waist of time to brainstorm about words and preconceptions...
I didn't really agree with something he said that the DNA of the church is the "leader", coz I believe is Jesus :-)... that's maybe why so many churches fail...they are looking at the wrong model... he gave a really high standard for what a leader should be, and I totally agree with that, but we can never forget we are humans and we'll always fail...leaders are not supposed to be super-heros, but I believe God simply gives leadership gifts to help us all to grow together...
but well, I got what he meant, and it was cool what he came to say...there was nothing really new for me, but he spoke a lot of truths that needed to be spoken...
here some examples I took from my notes :
- pastors need to read the Bible more often, like every day kinda thing...
- we can't lead people to a place we never been ourselves
- the foundation of a ministry should be the leader's character
- leaders are to serve and not boss around
- there's a lot of waist of money in the church "management"... a lot of "staff" should be sent back to the working market, instead of being paid for doing almost nothing...
- the motive of ministry should be Love and not a "job" we are to perform...
- to change a nation we need to change our mindset...
- we need to give space to the young people and not hold on to the "throne" forever ...
- we need to know what's going on in the world, and not only live in "our christian bubbles"...
- he spoke about other basic things like sacrifice, obediece, submission (all pastors should be pastored), have foundations in the Word of God and prayer, doing it by the power of the Spirit and not by our own strength, listening to the prophetic voices, identifying strongholds, giving glory to God only, etc...


It was nice to see in the last session how many people responded to the call of making a commitment with God to see His kingdom come in this nation, and of course, in the world...

I also enjoyed the seminars about loving the migrant people in our country and also the one about fighting poverty in an holistic way...


the SEMINAR ON ORGANIC CHURCH was also good and surprising for me ...
around 100 people were there... Nuno Soares started with a good power point presentation about the little "history" behind the concept of organic church, and also trying to get to some sort of indefined definition of what is that all about... I know it sounds confusing and unclear, but that's what "organic church " is about too :-)... it was cool and I think it was clear enough for those who were listening...
I also spoke something more personal out of my little journey and bit of experience ... but still, no definitions or conclusions... I don't really remember all that I spoke coz I have to confess I didn't prepare anything before hand :-/ , but I did threw some questions and points in the air like " what is Church?" , like "we are to make disciples and not plant churches, as Jesus said", "our focus are the lost and those who don't fit in "institutional" settings of church... and that's why new expressions of the Body are emerging...
I try to make clear from the beginning that we are not speaking about ORGANIC CHURCH versus INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH... We are the church, in its different expressions... and I also wanted to say that I considered that moment a positive sign, as it shows this kind of expression is being accepted as part of the Body...
I also mention that if our goal is multiplication, we need to keep it simple ( as Jesus did ), so "church" cannot be so complicated , right ?!!!

We had few interventions and it was good to clarify few things...
Before we finished I had something else coming to my mind, and I said:
" we will fail... I hope you will be there to help us stand up and to support us... we're just trying"
And I do mean this... we're just walking in a new ground, simply obeying to what God is putting in our hearts...

in the end I was surprised to see how many people came to thank me and hug me :-)
I appreciated that, and that's what I believe it needs to happen, the old embracing the new...

WE NEED REAL UNITY, WHICH COMES FROM THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AND NOT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH OR EFFORT... not even by our own feelings or desires, because we know it's not easy sometimes to deal with others who think, behave and are so different from us... But we are to be peace makers and live in reconciliation with all human beings, specially those whom we call brothers and sisters...
I know in practice is not easy at all, but guess what, that's part of being church right? and often when there is a change of mindsets, or any kind of change, there is hurt and pain... there are misunderstandings sometimes...
but I guess we need to understand something when we refer "organic church" and "institutional church" , or whatever expressions we're using... WE ARE NOT FIGHTING AGAINST EACH OTHER, we might be contesting concepts or things that became "normal" but are not really biblical... but it's never about people... we might be raising questions about church 's identity, but never questioning people's identity in Christ...

We don't need to agree with everything the others do, knowing that the basic foundations of our faith are the same, but hey, God doesn't agree with everything we do as well, but still, He chose us to cope with Him in His kingdom :-) and what a privilege that is...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Barbara, for your summary explanation of the MG2015 in your blog. I enjoyed attending your seminar too. Tell Nuno as well.

Your brother in Christ,

Jerry Ericson

Jasmin said...

nice baba...keep being that voice...bless u..