Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Living The Mission Conference June 17 -20 in MN

Soon, very soon!  I almost have all the details up and ready to post.  You'll be able to find it on rawreligion.com. by the first week of May (my goal!)  The other websites of house2house.com, cmaresources.org, simplechurch.com, LK10.com will have limited information but will provide the links to the website with all the information you'll need on the schedule of workshops, in-depth descriptions of them, conference location, costs, hotels and other housing(dorm)/camping (yes, we have great camping close to the location if you want to camp Minnesota!), area attractions, food options, maps, registration info and how to contact me with questions.

Now, .....I want to give you a glimpse of the different "Tracks" of interest for the workshops that we will be offering.  Remember to check next week on the web page (rawreligion.com) and you'll find the tracks listed in depth.  If you click on that track it will take you to a page that will list all the workshops for that track and the speakers leading them.  Here is a general overview of the different tracks:

Organic Leadership - What is it, what does it look like, what makes it different from previous leadership styles and structures.  Neil Cole, Katie Driver

Simple Church Basics - Learn the basics of doing simple/house church with Tony and Felicity Dale in their two workshops.  
With four sessions facilitated by J0hn White you'll be exploring the Seven Principles of LK10, in planting simple churches.  These sessions will build upon one another during the conference and we'd encourage you to stay with John's sessions to get the most from the training and tools.

APEST -  A team of folks who work with Alan Hirsch (The Forgotten Ways, APEST.org) will be leading this track on discovering through various ways, the unique makeup of your gifting and how to use that in Kingdom mission.  A pre-test, offered on the website will be a prerequisite to this class.  More on that will be listed on this track page.

Organic and Missional Transitions for Conventional Church Style -  It's not about the structure that people fellowship in, but in their engagement in simple, missional, naturally organic lifestyles that brings transformation.  Brian Williamson, Ed Waken, Katie Driver

Missional Track:  Spreading The Good News of the Kingdom - From making lifestyle evangelism easy and natural,  to hearing inspiring stories and examples that "fit" with who you are.  See how God is using business's for mission, transformation and provision for the Kingdom.  Ed Waken, Tony Dale, Neil Cole

Special Workshops -

Taste of Greenhouse  (same training offered twice during the conference)- For those of you who want to know what the Greenhouse weekend intensive training is all about, this 2 hour "taste" will give you an idea and you'll want more! 

Panel Discussion with Speakers - Here is your opportunity to access the various speakers whom you might of missed by taking other workshops.  Questions, issues and your various experiences in living the mission, will be done in panel forum for mutual edification and sharpening of each other for Kingdom transformation.  No workshops will be scheduled during this time so everyone can participate who desires to.

Later on, in this blog, I'll go over with a bit more depth, some of the workshops and what the speakers bring to their sessions.

All of the sessions will be done in discussion forums.  We want your participation,  the giving of your input, asking of questions, sharing your own stories and journey's.  As iron sharpens iron, we hope to learn from each other in an atmosphere of mutual edification.  We lift no one up as experts and professionals.  Those sharing as workshop facilitators are learning as they walk in obedience to the Lord in their lives, and are the first to admit that. That said, we are blessed to have some pioneers and trail blazers to this movement of God in these days.
 In keeping with the simple/organic/missional paradigms of each member of the Body of Christ being a valuable asset in the Kingdom of God, we hope you gain encouragement and strength from our days spent together in Bloomington, Minnesota!

Put the dates on the calendar for June 17 - 20 !

Friday, April 24, 2009

Living The Mission:The Journey in Simple, Organic, Missional Church

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to introduce you to, and give you a little "taste" of  our speakers, their workshops and contributions, at a conference we will be hosting here in June called; Living The Mission: The Journey in Simple, Organic, Missional Church.

  I'm hoping you'll find something of value and interest that will encourage and strengthen you in your journey of living out your faith with intimacy, impact and purpose, especially in the context of simple, organic, missional church paradigms and you will plan on attending all or some of the conference.  
As you follow this blog over the next few weeks, I hope you'll find yourself as excited as I am about it, and join us here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area June 17 - 20, 2009.

I will be getting up a web page with all the details in the next week or so, and from there you will be able to access all the details and information regarding the various "tracks" of specific topics offered, the schedule, workshops, registration, costs, housing, area activities, etc. I will also be posting it on my Facebook page, cmaresources.com, house2house.com, LK10.com, or you can email me at katiedriver@msn.com

I am convinced that we are finally beginning to see the WHOLE Body of Christ being "thrust out into the harvest fields" for greater Kingdom purposes. There is a hunger in people to be activated to fulfill the missions God has purposed in His Heart for them.  Unique and diverse these missions are, with each member walking in obedience and for His Glory. 

We have incredible possibilities before us.  As I wrote in my previous posts of Nameless Servants and The Unit, may we become humble, obedient servants and join together in the mission that Jesus spoke to in His last words to the disciples;

"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying; 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age."  Matthew 28:18-20

Monday, April 13, 2009

Nameless Servants

Years ago a man  prophesied that the Lord would raise up a new breed of people. A nameless and faceless Kingdom people.  Men and women of impact that would accomplish through the Spirit of God, incredible Kingdom advances.   A people who would not build ministries and reputations, but  be wholly committed to humility.  A breed of people where the only reputation known, was the reputation of Christ.

A while back I studied revivals.  One of my favorite was the Indonesian revival that was on and off during the last century.  Teams of Christians would go into all the various islands and villages in small groups of 2-5 persons.  They were only known by the number given to their team.  In one season of increased revival, this is how much of it was described; 

"Team #123 reports 3 healings, 12 salvations", "Team #87 reports 6 healings, 25 salvations, 1 dead raised"," Team #195 reports entire village received Christ after village leader healed from death bed and restored through prayer", "Team #11......"  You get the point...

No one will know who these faithful servants were, outside of those who participated with them until heaven.  They were simply being obedient ambassadors.  Gratefully serving and with the zeal of those who know the great value of the riches of the message they carried.  The only name remembered was the name Jesus.

For those of you around my age (agh!), you'll remember the popular show on television called "The Invisible Man".  Through a botched science experiment, this man became invisible.  He started out fine, enjoying his anonymity, but soon became quite evil.  Driven by his flesh to acquire power and notoriety he eventually had to die. 
 The final message of the movie was that being invisible would ultimately destroy someone because of the isolation, lack of recognition and power available to them.

That is the system of the world we exist in.  To be invisible would mean death to us.  Our ego and self worth destroyed.  But we are not of this system.  We are called to a better way.

In Matthew 20, the mother of James and John went to Jesus to ask that her sons be awarded to sit on the left and right of Jesus in heaven one day.  The disciples were irritated about this, and because their flesh had been snagged, went to complain to Jesus about it.  Jesus responds with: "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.  It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for the many" vs.25-28.

Whoever remembers the names of servants and slaves? 
 Only the Master, and that's the One that matters.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Strength Of The Unit

There is a television show that I watch called "The Unit".  It's made up of a team of Special Forces soldiers that take on impossible missions.  They are only successful because they take their individual talents and skills and apply them together as one Unit.  Each member on the team are experts in their own unique way.  Success in their individual expertise and role is necessary for accomplishing the mission.  If one falters in his role in the Unit, the whole Unit suffers, and so they work together to keep each member strong and engaged.  

There is no competition between Unit members because the purpose of the Unit is the mission and it's success

In a battle fighting an enemy, you want the soilders around you to be strong, engaged and  doing their individual part in the battle. Because if their not, it leaves you all vulnerable, and you all fail. 
 We don't benefit from competition with each other.   Our biggest weapon against the enemy is the strength of the person and persons fighting next to you.  Encouraging and strengthening them with your words and actions should be your priority.  If they succeed, you do too!  And it in no way diminishes your value in the army, in fact, it enhances it!

Paul says in 1 Cor. 3:3; "for you are still fleshly.  For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshy, and are you not walking like mere men?"

I know some people that just cannot say anything encouraging and affirming to anyone else.  They seem to believe that if they built someone else up, that would in some weird, warped way, diminish them!
 They place themselves in competition against a fellow soldier. They are fighting the war as an individual and they are showing their own insecurities, low self esteem and fears.  

The Scriptures give us some examples of this, as unfortunately, it seems to plague us as humans beings from the very beginning:

Joseph, and the jealousies of his brothers, who resented the attention and affirmation of Jacob with Joseph.  

Cain and Able, the first brothers.  Cain became jealous and resentful that God liked the sacrifice of Able more than his.  Instead of  giving a better sacrifice the next time and learning from his error, he decides that killing Able solves his problem and he doesn't need to change.

 Jacob, striving against Esau for the higher blessing and using manipulation and deception to achieve it.

Paul and his rebuke of those who "measure themselves by themselves" and  then would position themselves against Paul, whom he refers to as the "super apostles".  Those who also preached the gospel "for selfish gain".

The deeds of the flesh; "enmities, strife, jealousy, dissentions, factions, envying.....become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.." Gal 5

We can walk in the Spirit and not in the above manifestations of the flesh.  However, that is not enough to create a strong and capable army. We must seek to build up, strengthen, encourage and think "of one another as more important than ourselves".

Not being able to offer encouragement and affirmation to someone else is a sign your insecure, threatened and walking in the flesh.  You don't want another brother/sister to feel empowered because that would harm your sucess and self esteeem.  How ridiculous!

 We are only as strong as our parts. We're not in this for ourselves, our own glory, our own self worth and esteem.  
We're part of a Kingdom,  a Divine Unit, called out to a battle that requires  that we EACH are successful in our roles. 
  We are equally valued, esteemed and loved.  There is no favoritism with God.

Since we have this as Truth, we need act like it and make encouraging one another a priority every opportunity we have.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bound Fast

I've been writing about Kingdom relationships these last few posts because I am passionate about the Body of Christ getting "rightly related", as the Scriptures say, to one another.  I'm back to using the movie Lord Of The Rings as an illustration in today's blog post.  For visual learners like myself, it is a great movie to use to give us a visual picture to work from.

From start to finish, battle scenes make up a large portion of the movie. The battles are not against other Middle Earth dwellers, but some ugly demonic things called Orcs and Uruk-Hai. Orcs and Uruk-Hai never stop in their pursuit, and no matter how many of them are killed, more fill in as replacements.  Sure, they are easily vanquished.  It seems that one swipe of a sword is enough to take them out.  Even so, it's only a momentary victory.  Replacements are being made in deep caverns of darkness,  and they will be back.

Doesn't this mirror our own lives and the battles that engage us?  Every day, something arises that requires the use of our sword.  Armor that is ours to wear and apply is a necessity for our day to day encounters.  Our journey with Christ is one big series of battle scenes.

Sometimes I get tired of fighting off the Orcs and Uruk-Hai that interupt my journey and the lives of those around me.  Just when I think I can take a rest, I find out quickly that Orks never rest.  Instead, they wait for an opportune time to strike.  

 In 1 Chronicles 19, David has sent out his army and mighty men, under the command of Joab, to fight against the sons of Ammon and the Arameans.  Joab divides the army into two divisions. He will command one and Abshai the other.  Joab says the following; "If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the sons of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will help you.  Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God," vs. 12-13.

The words; be strong and courageous in that passage, have the same meaning.  The word in Hebrew is Chazaq, and it means to be bound fast to, to support, to make firm, and it is frequently used to describe battle scenes.

The Body of Christ, the Family of Believers, the Church, is called out as an army.  A group of "mighty men".  Warriors.  We have a Kingdom to advance together and we have been equipped to do so.

An strong and advancing army  has some specific qualities to it.  It is made up of soldiers that are available and ready.  Soldiers that pay attention to the battle around them and where they can assist and support fellow soldiers.  They are also bound fast to one another.

 In our individualistic, self-focused, self-sufficient lives; being bound fast to one another in the battles of life is challenging.  A lot of us prefer to valiantly stand alone in our battles because we are taught by our culture and traditions to do so.  We stay away from the battles of others because we're tired from our own.  We're taught "not to get involved".  And sometimes, we just don't care enough to be bound to someone's battle.

An army is only as strong as it's committed soldiers.  Committed to each other and the cause they fight for.  

How far could the Kingdom be advanced and the army strengthened this week, if we were to be like Joab and Abshai; bound fast to one another? 

 "If they are too strong for you, then I will help you.  If they are too strong for me, then you shall help me."