A Greater Gathering Aftermath

Obviously last week’s podcast touched a very large nerve, so Wayne follows up with some of his impressions from all the blog comments, emails and voice mail he received in the aftermath of last week’s podcast. Certainly people around the world are hungry for the kind of relational connections that can facilitate a community not based on control or conformity. How does real community emerge? How can we enhance that process without turning it into a movement driven by human passion and effort that will supplant a genuine process of discovering and cooperating with what God is already doing in the world. Wayne shares his heart for where this conversation can begin and seeks to slow down the momentum of our own needs so we can simply recognize and catch the wind of the Spirit that will move us where Father wants.

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36 Responses to “A Greater Gathering Aftermath”

  1. David William Edwards says:

    Are there rules for friendships? Do we have the same type of relationship with everyone of our friends? If that’s the case for friendships, why do we create a system for other people just because we have a common “belief”. If we in any way apply some set of rules for any of our relationships, then we are attempting to build a “something” beyond relationships.

  2. Russ Reese says:

    I think one of the most overlooked passages in the gospels is where Jesus says to NOT exercise leadership and authority in the way that the “gentiles” do. Followers of Jesus violated that request within one generation as the church began to develop a hierarchy and began to in fact “lord” their authority over the flock.

    If you take the position that all Christians must submit to church authority, the only logical conclusion is that we all should be Roman Catholics.

    In church history, every new “movement” is always condemned by the previous movement. What we are seeing now is a “movement” and like all others before it, it is being criticized most fiercely by the guardians of the most recent prior movement (independent non denominational churches). The irony is that they themselves are guilty of what they accuse us of. At some point in the recent past, they rebelliously rejected the authority of some denomination and went and formed their own “church” that now apparently possesses some “authority” that it wrested from it’s predecessor.

    We have done the same thing, just in a more compact way. They are mad at us because this current movement displaces the last one and every movement always has adherents that think that they have finally arrived at all truth. Seeing a new movement lets them know that Jesus isn’t done yet and that they themselves need to keep following Jesus and not rest in the tiny bit of revelation that sparked the movement to which they cling.

  3. Chad G says:

    What a breath of fresh air. How many of the early patriarchs were Shepherds. How many of those that came against them were building cities, discovering technology (iron, music, etc). Nimrod, the first religous organizer, organized everyone in a religeous activity (building a tower to heaven). He said, lets do this so that we are not scattered (called by a name of what they do – the brick layers). And, God in his mercy scattered them – which was a merciful act because it created an opportunity for them to connect to God and not run with the pack to destruction (which I know isn’t always the case in organized religion, but often is).

  4. John Hard says:

    I like your thoughts Russ. I was thinking too about the early church. It seems everything they did ran contrary to the established system, or its theology. Even then, they themselves had to wrestle with staying within the movement of God or sticking with the established norms. Peter was told to eat meat and said “by no means”. But God’s response was essentially, “Peter, things are different now. More different than you can imagine, and you need to get used to that.”

    There is no question there is a current movement, and I am convinced it is a movement of God. Right now, many of us are outside the institution, and we are at peace with that. But we are uncertain of where to go from here. What is crucial is that we stay close to the heart of the Father and walk in His love…and that we do this as much “together” as we can, whatever that looks like. For me it is getting with friends for lunch, or coffee, talking by phone, interacting over the internet, etc. But in every case, we are truly sharing life together. I’m not sure what this will look like in 10 years, but I’m also not too concerned about that. I’m just excited to watch it unfold, and see where the Father takes us.

  5. Lisa says:

    I left the building a few years ago and am currently unlearning and recovering from the whole hierarchical leadership thing, as well as constantly being taught a mix of the old and new covenant. It is very difficult to live loved in a bi-polar mix of law and grace. It’s very damaging. I’m thankful everyday that I’m well out of that scenario.

    I tried a few home churches at first, but like most people on this journey I discovered that these were just tinier versions of what I’d left. Presently I avoid any organized group of believers because one or more people in the group is always trying to organize everyone else. I can’t take it any more. Natually I talk with God about this and what comes out of it so far is, it would be great to get together with Christian friends and be real about God and life and let the Spirit lead etc. At the moment I only have one friend who is on this page and we catch up with each other when we can. My other friends are very attached to their church settings, some of them are more open than others to seeing a life beyond the barricade and I share according to that openess.

    I’ve got that song from Les Miserables going through my head…that verse about…”somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?”

  6. Carol says:

    Oh yes, Lisa, there is a longing to see! I am actually now part of a small fellowship with a strong grace emphasis and it is helping in many ways.
    Still want to connect at deeper levels and I do have one far away friend and yhst connection us there. I would to also like to have more face to face connection.
    I hAve walked away from the bi polar mix of law and grace. That is a good way to refer to it!

  7. Anne says:

    Thanks for your podcast, Wayne. I think God has a place for organization, but it is easily idolized since it is hard to communicate and relate to a God that is invisible and inaudible vs. people we can see and talk to, so the answer to building a heaven on earth must be using what we’ve been given here in the third dimension, right? It wasn’t until 3 years ago that God finally decided to show me that living in Christ is a fundamentally supernatural lifestyle. I think the Christians in America inherited a really stubborn, materialistic sensibility from the British, and until the organized church becomes more aware our time here is The Matrix, for lack of a better term, they will continue putting more stock in their 5 senses than in Jesus Christ. and continue making the Bible the 4th member of the Trinity than remembering that Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God.

  8. Kevin says:

    I like the idea of “elders” on the journey. I have spent my entire life learning to obey and to live up to the expectations of how a Christian “should” look and behave and am finding it difficult to break free of the guilty feelings when I don’t conform. At 43 years old, I have finally realized that all of my religious upbringing has not led me to a relationship with Christ and certainly hasn’t instilled in me a love for Father and an acceptance of his love for me. I hear that God loves me and is pleased with me, regardless of what I do or don’t do, but my whole life has taught me that God’s love is based on how much I read my Bible, pray, attend church, serve, evangelize, and don’t sin. It’s not easy to break free of that thinking.

    I don’t think the majority of people in the institution have any idea of what a relationship with Christ is…and honestly, neither do I. What we call a relationship is nothing more than a series of programs and expectations that, depending on your level of compliance, shows just how good of a Christian you are. I am tired of living life based on the expectations of others and want to know what it is to live in his love, free from the mixed covenant messages of the institution and the pressures that come along with it.

    Thank you all for being here and sharing your journey. You all give me hope and bit by bit, I am healing and learning to love and be loved.

  9. Carol says:

    And you will continue healing and learning, Kevin. Abba will be with you through the whole process. I think it has taken many of us a lot time to get all this expectation messages out of our heads and hearts and sometimes they can try to creep back in. Freedom is possible :) It will come. That is what Jesus came to do – to heal and set free.

  10. TRICIA says:

    Thank you Kevin, I know EXACTLY how you feel! I feel the same way! Your not alone. Thanks again Abba, for leading me out of organized religion.

  11. Rusty says:

    Really enjoying the direction the conversation is going Wayne….for quiet a few years I wondered how and when God would bring others to form a community to replace the one I left behind in the institution. Along the journey that has become less and less a concern for me. It has been replaced with a
    contentment that He is all I need and others that cross my path whether it be for five minutes, five days or five months is part of his plan and that is enough.

    Having been out of the institution for about six years I can honestly say I have never been closer and felt so much peace with Father. Even though I have a long way to go, life seems to be easier and I would not want to go back. I know that if I was wrong in this He would show me but he seems to be affirming this new direction.

    Looking forward to seeing others “relax into” what he is doing…. I occasionally see a spark in others eyes that I’ve had the privilege of sharing this life with. (even though at first I’m sure that they thought I was crazy and had lost my mind.) : )

    Let’s all continue the conversation.

  12. Dave says:

    Hi Wayne,

    Not sure if this qualifies me as an elder but after thirty plus years of chasing the institutional dream of church community (including the house church dreamers) and seven years out of those two boxes, I am now at peace and have become convinced of a few things. Of which, most have been written about by you and a few others:

    “Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and sacrificial. God hates this wishful dreaming because it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Those who dream of this idolized community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others and by themselves. They enter the community of Christians with their demands set up by their own law, and judge one another and God accordingly.

    It is not we who build. Christ builds the church. Whoever is mindful to build the church is surely well on the way to destroying it, for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess he builds. We must proclaim, he builds. We must pray to him, and he will build. We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down.

    It may be that the times which by human standards are the times of collapse are for him the great times of construction. It may be that the times which from a human point are great times for the church are times when it’s pulled down. It is a great comfort which Jesus gives to his church. You confess, preach, bear witness to me, and I alone will build where it pleases me.

    Do not meddle in what is not your providence. Do what is given to you, and do it well, and you will have done enough…. Live together in the forgiveness of your sins. Forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts.”

    ? Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906–1945 (Paragraphs were inserted for easier reading.)

    Forgetting What’s Behind

    “Anyone who has been involved in institutionalized Christianity knows how quickly the relationships of the most well-intentioned become filled with some of the very deeds of the flesh Paul outlined in Galatians 5: … “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy.” We can get caught up in those very actions even while thinking we are doing God’s will.

    When the pain gets too intense, a faction breaks off to start a newer, better body. In a matter of years they are overtaken by the very things from which they fled. After a few experiences like this it’s no wonder many believers give up hope of ever finding vibrant body life. But Father beckons us past our hurts and disappointments.” ? Wayne Jacobsen

    For those who may have interest, read Wayne’s entire article here:
    http://lifestream.org/bodylife.php?blid=28

    Also, please come join the conversation on The God Journey’s forum. The atmosphere there is much different now than it was.

    Blessings,
    Dave :)

  13. Jay Ferris says:

    Dear Wayne,

    I don’t know how many times we have crossed paths, and perhaps even swords over the past 30 years or how frustrating it may have been to you, but I am hearing a sound in this latest podcast, that just might offer us an opportunity for relational connection and even conversation. I don’t want to waste yours or a lot of other people’s time dabbling in relational/community building.

    So perhaps we could begin be accepting that we are not after things that are offensive to one another, but are feeling a need for a conversation that hasn’t happened yet, and one that has nothing to do with anything that has happened yet. This is a conversation that is born, sustained, directed, and done by the Spirit of God. It is not a conversation that begins with any kind of relational agenda but has been in the heart of God ever since Jesus prayed and died that we might be one that the world might believe. This is not a conversation, momentary or sustained by human intention, but by the intention God. It is a conversation that knows no one after the flesh. It is a conversation that knows the difference between the passion of the Christ, and the lusts of the flesh. It is perhaps best exemplified by old creation family, but in much more personal and transparent way than old creation flesh and family life and relationship can enter into, and yet with much to learn from it.

    Properly not even a conversation that is known in the context of flesh, because it is colored and determined and conducted by the Spirit in the light of how many are included, as composed and directed by the Spirit. It is a conversation that is only possible in the Spirit, and terrifying by it’s own fleshly involvement. It is a conversation on the way to being know even as it has been in known, It is a conversation born of revelation, not of information. or theology, preaching and teaching. It is not for the fearful of heart or the arrogance of worldly, wisdom or maturity, although, rightly understood all of that helps.

    If conversational context might help just a little bit in what I am talking about I should say that I am 74 with stage 4 colo-rectal cancer waiting to see if there is anything that can be done to buy me a little more time for such a conversation.

    The question is, can we back off from all of our “church building”/community agendas long enough to discover weather Jesus might just be able to build the church that He sad that He would, stone by stone, without knowing one another after the flesh, that when we have repented long enough of our own efforts to help Him out we might discover what He has been after from the beginning. We have been failing in our own efforts for so may years now that no one I have ever met has ever seen the Church that Jesus promised to build. Anyone claiming to be able to build one at this point is presumptuous to the point of certifiably delusional.

    All that just to say, Are you prepared to move in the direction of this kind of conversation. For the foreseeable future “church builders” will likely have to be excluded from the conversation, for as you already know only too well those of us who have more questions than answers are not likely to be able to get a word or even a question in edgewise.

    Love and Appreciation.!

    Jay

  14. Jacob says:

    Hi Wayne,
    It’s a pity that people are stuck in the clutches of organized religion thinking that it’s the only way and that it has to exist. Many times I wonder if the foundation of their belief isn’t perhaps simply hereditary. I come from a traditional South African Dutch Reformed back ground then moved to Pentecostal and later Charismatic movements just to eventually realize it’s all the same thing. I am now also aware that being free/organic holds the same dangers/threats of becoming legalistic in ones mind. So referring back to one of your previous blogs about formulating a x-easy-steps-to-relationship it is absolutely absurd to try and formulate something God wants to sort out with each one of us personally. I have come to the realization that each of us will have an individual view on many things until we see the truth and the only truth. Then, we will be like-minded. Incidentally, it’s not our like-mindedness that draws us together, but the like-mindedness is the result of revelation. Warren Litzman put it so nicely when he said we can talk around the truth in circles but to be able to step into the truth comes from God. There is NO formula for walking this journey other than to follow your footsteps. Also, it is not a shame to acknowledge I don’t have it sewn together, for that would only be an confession of idiocy. I believe, and this may sound harsh, that once the lie is exposed it makes way for the truth. So, as pompous as this may sound, I think it’s important to expose the futility of organized religion so people would see that it’s about walking this path of ‘life’ with God rather than a recipe to success. My biggest breakthrough probably began when I started questioning my historical belief ‘system’ and realized it bears no weight in terms of contribution to my life. It’s all about God and this path I’m on. The second biggest breakthrough for me was to acknowledge that not all, and certainly most, of ‘religion’ is a powerful tool in the hands of Satan to misguide the multitudes, rather than an innocent misguided branch of Christian history. What I’m saying is that we’re not moving into the ‘next’ phase of religious revelation because the truth has been with us from the beginning, we only went on a misguided tour of theological misfortune. Living truly in a relationship with Father is not a new move for the church but has always been Gods desire for us. We made it a theory of religious theology. As far as I can say, we’ve been on an illegitimate path of religion which we never should have ventured on to start with, and most of that has been hereditary, from generations to generations. This stuff is not new but as old as Christ and certainly been available since Paul so clearly explained it to us. The monster of religion hi-jacked this message for 2000 years. If you go through history you’ll notice individuals who tried to liberate the church from this monster but they’ve always been ostrisized from the monster as being heretics. Pity. Church, wake up you’re being kidnapped by theological arguments.
    Peace to All
    Jacob

  15. Phillip Atkins says:

    hey there :)

    would i throw a spanner in if I were to say, in all honesty why are we trying to find a definition of CHURCH, Think about it, is god asking us to invest trying to find out what church means? we know what it means the gathering of people., I am part of the church because i am part of Christ i am made in the image of god as all of us are. remembering that we still get caught up in the flesh and the flesh is a door for all sorts of corruption, we have all been there and still do that. But coming to more accurate terms in this conversation, is it good for us to be at a CHURCH that has an IDEA of congregation and is some how “supposed” to happen and we have to be gathering? rather than the idea of relationship and gathering in love and kindness for our brothers and sisters to meet under more calm and non religious terms. believe me i have my views and ideas and somewhat definitions as 1 of my views are in progress right now…..every last drop of my genuinity if thats a word i would rather sit and drink coffee with you all. But my views and ideas don’t form the relationship we all desire. So church is what? i vouch to share the love to anyone that god has given us i vouch that if our hearts desire to meet new brothers and sisters then so be it. to make life simple knowing gods love makes things simple enough to know and understand the love of god i can easily walk free of my burdens so that i can love truly and come together as ONE. As a brother who loves deeply lets not get to caught up…. lets give our love a chance to take over and bring us together as gods love takes over all of us to bring us together :)

    live simply
    live trusting
    live fruitful
    be still and know i am God

    phil :)

  16. Phillip Atkins says:

    pardon me this was in relation to a greater gathering :P

    cheers

  17. jacob s says:

    uh oh another jacob !!! we will have to put an inital after our names or else i may get credit for your posts or you may be accused of mine…..lol

  18. Tina says:

    I have relocated to Humboldt county to attend HSU and had to leave the church I have attended since 1992. I have tried to attend an non denominational church in this area, but I felt so lonely in that the congregation was 99.9% white and being African American, it did not feel comforting, so after winter break from school and moving closer to school and I have not returned. This feel odd not attending church but I am waiting for Papa to lead in where to attend or not. I do not know where that may be but I am confident in knowing I will be just fine,

  19. Wayne says:

    Jay, I don’t know that we’ve crossed swords. I actually don’t carry one any more. But I’m more than happy to have that conversation. I do think there is a church Jesus is building in the world and our attempts to do it for him has caused 2,000 years of pain and grief. While he’s always been faithful to be with us in our stuff, Jesus didn’t destroy the old temple to raise up another man-made one, even in our “organic structures.” The church Jesus is building is one made “without hands”. By “greater gathering” I didn’t mean a better one, I meant one bigger than any human or group of humans could sort out in their wisdom and manufacture. I don’t think the church is just a collection of people who identify with Jesus or Christianity. Real church and community is the fruit of a people who are learning to live in the new creation Jesus established at his resurrection. Building groups based on what we need or want, or even what we think God wants is still the building made by hands. The church is built by Jesus and rises to become a temple as people learn to live in him the way he desires. You’re right. This is not a conversation for “church planters”, authors, or conference organizers that just want another product to market. This is a conversation I hope we get to have with brothers and sisters who have been on the journey for awhile and are learning to live at rest in the Father’s love with no compulsion to build anything for any reason, but simply to see clearly how the Lord is building and able to encourage others to participate alongside him and be at rest… I already see that happening, so I’m not talking about something newly beginning. Rather I’m talking about seeing with better eyes how God is doing his work and resisting the urge to help him for our own needs or out of our own fears….

  20. George Dunn says:

    The church may gather…in various places and in various forms…but gathering doesn’t make it a church. Remembering the quote by the late Keith Green, “Going to church does not make one a Christian any more than going to McDonalds makes on a hamburger.”

    The church is not a “thing” or a concept any more than a “relationship” is a thing or a concept to be dissected, debated, discussed, organized or theologized. Sooner we must move on from shadow to substance…which belongs to Christ. You can’t legislate or organize or understand love. Either you know it experimentally because you have been loved and then you find yourselves falling in love with others. Love is so strong a force that it moves you. Love does not come out of community but it creates community.

  21. Paula says:

    I felt God leading me out of going to a building 8 years ago. At first I thought it was just that building, and expected to end up in a different one, but it seems he had other plans. Hearing perspectives from other people on this path is helpful, but it isn’t necessarily community.

    A few years ago, somewhere someone said something about just loving the people God puts in front of you. So, I have a group of people, mostly grown children and some of their friends, who I hang out with. We don’t really talk about God, but when we do, they seem to look to me to know something. The only problem is, I keep hearing things and reading things that I would like to talk about, and so far I haven’t met anyone to have those face to face conversations with.

    I have been thinking a lot lately about how community is changing, how we find community, and why it is important. One issue has recently come up for me. When “church” was the center of my community it was the place my family and I turned for the ceremonial milestones of life. Now my daughter is planning her wedding, and we are having a hard time finding someone to perform it without it being a major investment, more than any of us can really afford right now. This has become one of those rare times when I miss the simple answer of just being able to turn to the institution. I think part of the discussion of where we go from here needs to include thinking about how we handle these formalized life moments.

  22. nancy says:

    Paula,
    Here in Wisconsin, municipal judges can officiate at marriage ceremonies, and it is not a major investment for anyone (I work p/t for a judge). You may want to check in your state if there is a judge or official who could do this for your daughter’s wedding. And churches seldom are the simple answer anyway, because they usually have a lot of rules about wedding ceremonies, counseling or classes before marriage, etc.

  23. Leon says:

    Hi all

    Love this conversation. @Jacob I’m also in South Africa in JHB area. Would love to meet up with another brother.

    Wayne if you come to South Africa I’m sure more than a couple people would love to join this conversation. I’m in and please keep me posted.

  24. Wayne says:

    Leon. It might happen this year. Got an invite here for SA in September… Still praying…

  25. kent says:

    Turns out the most holy life is the most natural life. What trips us up so often is that what has become so familiar and is accepted as natural really isn’t.

    This is a life to be relaxed into, unforced, but it can be a most turbulent transition in getting to it. And that is a paradox for sure. It’s not passive. Forces are pressing in on us and pulling on us from all directions keeping us distracted, confused, and conflicted about it all. Turns out we all have developed deep commitments to a way of being that really stands in our way.

  26. joni menard says:

    I loved Susan’s telephone response. I think that is what I am experiencing in my life today which is a coming together of people with open hearts and not looking for “kingdoms” to manage or exploit. Not even interested in finding significance in what we do together. Just learning to live and love well together. And that love is just rippling out to others in our lives. Its so cool.
    I love Kent says, holy life is the most natural life. Its so simple and we complicate it beyond belief. We can create religion out of grace, shoot we can create a religion out of playing with dust bunnies. Follow the Lamb. Amen Wayne.

  27. Dave says:

    Wayne,

    “The human mind is an incredibly complex and powerful thing. It is able to translate a bafflingly complex world of color, shape, movement and noise into an understandable, navigable experience. However, it makes more mistakes than we would like to admit. Disagreement between the senses can result in the brain producing an inaccurate picture of the world. Experiments on the audio and visual systems are useful for understanding these errors.” By Will Milner (Audio Vs. Visual… )

    Some people seem to be better suited for audio comprehension while others seem to be better suited for visual. I have found that I’m able to grasp and understand visual communication a bit better than audio communication. Therefore, I have transcribed this from “A Greater Gathering Aftermath” pod cast:

    “This pod cast is not going to be about this conversation every week for the next whatever because I want to slow it all down. I want to slow down and say you know, let’s just have some conversations. Those of you that really want to get together somewhere.

    And by that, I’m not talking about… and I hope this comes across OK. Because I think there’ll be times to have conversations with people that are just desperate to find fellowship or desperate to find some thing to replace what I think I lost when I stopped going to a Sunday morning meeting. Maybe we’ll have time to talk there too.

    But initially what I’m interested in is not wondering around the planet helping people build communities. I really want to talk to people about what they’re learning as to how we live shared life together.

    1. How we share our lives, as friends
    2. and then how we share our lives as brothers and sisters on a journey.

    Not always people who think like me or on the same path as me or on the same page as me. Just people who have a hunger for God that we can walk with. And I‘ll learn from them. They‘ll learn from me. And well come to a greater awareness of what the truth is because we all speak the truth in love and thus grow up in him.” ~Wayne Jacobsen

    (The numbering was added by me)

    Now that I may have a clearer grasp as to what you were asking us about, is Idaho on your prayer radar? I’ll forward this post to our friend Dwight in Eagle and hopefully receive some of his ponderings as well. I live near Dwight in Boise and would love to host a conversational gathering in our home. We have a guest bedroom and you and Sara have a open invitation.

    Blessings,
    Dave :)

  28. Wayne says:

    Dave, I don’t know where we’ll be holding these conversations yet. My hope is to draw some people from a pretty wide geographical range for the cross-pollinizatoin effect. I was planning one on the west coast and see who could make it out to LA. I know that adds some expense for others, but I am wanting this to be a real passion and priority for those who get involved, and the trust that Jesus will provide…

  29. Dave says:

    Wayne,

    I received this reply from Dwight.

    In a message dated 1/29/2013 1:30:11 P.M. Mountain Standard Time, Dwight____@___.com writes:

    Love to see you, love to see Wayne. Keep me posted.

  30. Dave says:

    Thanks Wayne. I’ll let Dwight know. :)

  31. Paula says:

    Nancy, we have options we are working on (though most of them here are rather expensive), just was using that as an example of the roll that church community has traditionally played in people’s life. For my grandparents, it was a real community. I am thinking that as we learn to rest more and more in God’s love, we will be naturally drawn into relationships and community. I just wonder how we will separate what adds to life from what is just habit. There may be a tendency to throw out some things of value just for the sake of freshness.

  32. Ann says:

    Hello Wayne,
    I just have to say that when you said that there was enough momentum to start a new movement and that’s not what you wanted, I wanted to stand up and cheer. It’s one of the coolest life giving things that I have heard in a long time.
    Blessings.

  33. Scott C says:

    Hey Wayne, first thanks for taking the time again for us on the journey with God to be able to chat. I want to add that for the first 20 years of my marriage, I was very into the prescribed western methods of organized religion. I found also, that I was intentionally dragging my family into it as well, thinking that I was the ‘spiritual leader’ of my home, my wife, my kids, and any other folks who happened to be in the house on a Sunday morning. After making the decision to pull myself out of institutionalized church, it freed me up tremendously . The interesting part was that my family members instantly felt like the engineer walked off the train and “now what”? Over a period of time, now having to take over their OWN journey with Christ, I have A: found each one of them experiencing a freedom in their journey; deciding for themselves where their OWN journey should take them and B: found myself free to be invited by them to come along with them. Freeing myself ended up freeing others that didn’t know they were ‘resting’ in my leadership and simply hiding in the comfort of not having to have their own journey. It is liberating to now hear them struggle and question things they once just trusted I would take care of. Their journey has not begun as well because I got out of the way.

    Second, some people do have a tough time understanding the concept of this freedom to live loved and not be conformed, resulting in judgement because they don’t understand and judgement is easier than exploration and allowing others their own freedom. I wanted to open up a potential discussion of the thoughts of parallel areas in life that would be helpful for folks to understand this freedom and independence in our own unique journey’s that exists with community around Christ.

    One of the parallels for example could be art. I’m not an artist, but have visited art gallery’s before. Inside the art gallery are other people who like art, explore art, trying to understand art. Some are artists themselves, some are not but enjoy art. Some are very experienced and some are brand new. BUT, there is a community inside an art gallery of folks centered, at that moment around art. Each one’s “art journey” is different than another yet, together, we form the art community in that gallery. Each one’s tastes may be very different, but thats ok. I don’t find a lot of conformity in an art gallery but rather community and acceptance that each person appreciates different things while allowing the others there to have their freedom.

    Thanks again,

    Scott

  34. Aprill says:

    So much of what so many of you are saying resonates with me. Especially Lisa in this thread.

    Though this is a great venue for posting comments & having some back-n-forth, is there a Facebook page for The God Journey where we could interact on a different level (i.e. message a specific person, see a picture)? I know Wayne has one…I’ll have to check next time I’m on FB. Or is this a bad idea for reasons that aren’t leaping to my mind?

    Hugs to you all, my brothers & sisters!

  35. Wayne says:

    Yes, April, there is a The God Journey FB page…

  36. Aprill says:

    How did I miss that?! Thanks, Wayne! :)

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