Early

A Spring morning early. Hushed except for a few Lorikeets chirruping in the Gum trees that green-cloak the Escarpment. A hazy rising Sun tries to shine through the mist over the ocean. In Spring morning's glory God whispers His presence yet, 'The Fool says in his heart there is no God' Psalm 14.1

Unbounded Church – A One Stop Shop

Most local churches have a stated aim to see the lost won for Christ. Commonly, this desire is expressed in the organisation and resourcing of a range of ‘Outreach’ activities. Even though not always clearly articulated, the methods used usually follow the same process that has generally been basic to all mission since the time … Continue reading Unbounded Church – A One Stop Shop

Gleanings for ‘Unbounded Church’ from those ‘Already on the Road’

     “You Don’t Get to New Places by Following Established Tracks”                                                                                       … Continue reading Gleanings for ‘Unbounded Church’ from those ‘Already on the Road’

Because We Were There!

It is not uncommon during a conversation about the Missional Communities that comprise ‘Unbounded Church’ networks to be asked what the membership is, i.e. how many ‘members’ do you have? That however, is a question that belongs to the mindset of traditional church thinking where membership can be measured by how many people come through … Continue reading Because We Were There!

A Crisis in the ‘West’

I recently came across this quote from Greg Sheridan, the Australian journalist and author of ‘God is Good for You’, who headed a recent article with – ‘The West cannot survive without a re-energized belief in Christianity’ Sheridan’s blunt, but I believe hard to argue with, observation flows from the fact that the socio-spiritual culture … Continue reading A Crisis in the ‘West’

Out of the Ashes of This Present Insanity the Phoenix of a ‘Church That Lives’ Can Arise

‘The Church is Dead, Long Live the Church!’ ###### Around five years ago I wrote the following paragraph as an introduction to a booklet I was writing at the time. ‘Up to some point on that icy, dark north Atlantic night in 1912, on the SS Titanic’s fatal journey towards the notorious iceberg, there remained … Continue reading Out of the Ashes of This Present Insanity the Phoenix of a ‘Church That Lives’ Can Arise

Mission Pluto

                  ‘Go (keep on going ) and make disciples’ ***** The goal of the standard strategy adopted by churches for local mission over many decades has been to draw people into Sunday services. Such a strategy has traditionally involved running special ‘guest’ services or other events that … Continue reading Mission Pluto

Welcome to Rome – Again

The Roman Empire was a religiously pluralistic society much like most of the western world today. This meant that people were free to worship the ‘god’ or ‘gods’ of their choice, it was up to each individual. There was one restriction however. This was that no matter what other ‘gods’ were worshipped, one that each … Continue reading Welcome to Rome – Again

Fiddling While Souls Burn

Again in the last few months a couple of people I know (one a close friend, another who I meet fairly regularly) have been diagnosed with terminal, or probably terminal cancer. This caused me to focus again on the issues in this previous post, concerns so serious in regard to the church and its ever decreasing missional effectiveness to those who have the Damoclean Sword of being without Christ hanging over their heads, that I thought it worth re-posting.

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In recent weeks I have learned that two long-time friends, both younger than me, have received a diagnosis of Cancer. Either too late to be effectively treated or of a type of Cancer with an average survival rate of less than two years.

These events have sharply highlighted the ‘Damoclean Sword’ of death that constantly hangs over all of our heads, whatever form it takes- sickness, a road accident or just the inevitable falling night of old age. For all of us this is the end of that brief mist between eternity and eternity we call life, the inevitable prelude to the swinging open of the gate of death. Then what?

Jesus answer to that question is that every human is journeying along one of two roads – the wide road that leads to destruction or the narrow road that leads to (eternal) life (Matthew 7:13,14).

This ‘Damoclean Sword’ meditation caused me to think which of those two roads are my friends on. For one I am sure it is the narrow road, for the other, a very nominal church member I am not so sure. Bigger than that-what about my family and other friends? What about the millions of Australians who are stumbling in darkness along the wide road that leads to the horror of an eternity without God.

With this terrible horizon waiting to greet the millions around us without Christ, should not our love from God and our love for God drive us to put all our efforts into gospel mission, so that with the Apostle Paul we “May possibly save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22)?

But what do we actually see? We see the Church ‘fiddling’. Fiddling with issues of varying importance such as women bishops, ‘same sex’ marriage, the preservation of old buildings and rituals but which are actually secondary to our Gospel mandate. This while millions of souls journey towards the, no doubt metaphorical but no less terrible, ‘burning’ of the ‘Second death” and “the lake of fire” (Revelation 21:8).

We see the church fiddling with missionally ineffective strategies of yesteryear, ever fiddling in a bondage to idolatries of form and ritual, of ‘comfortable’ Christianity which refuses to pay the cost of the discipleship that Jesus calls us to- while the ‘Rome’ of western society ‘burns’.

There is an urgency for the church to be ‘Unbound’, set free from its current captivities, to turn its still considerable resources to the mission into the pagan darkness of the lost. To let go of our beloved forms and traditions for the sake of the lost, to pay the price that the King made clear is His demand, without which we “Cannot be His disciple”. To show love for all those blissfully unaware of the ‘Sword of Damocles’ hanging over their head.

This is actually what ‘loving our neighbour is’.

unbounded church

In recent weeks I have learned that two long-time friends, both younger than me, have received a diagnosis of Cancer. Either too late to be effectively treated or of a type of Cancer with an average survival rate of less than two years.

These events have sharply highlighted the ‘Damoclean Sword’ of death that constantly hangs over all of our heads, whatever form it takes- sickness, a road accident or just the inevitable falling night of old age. For all of us this is the end of that brief mist between eternity and eternity we call life, the inevitable prelude to the swinging open of the gate of death. Then what?

Jesus answer to that question is that every human is journeying along one of two roads – the wide road that leads to destruction or the narrow road that leads to (eternal) life (Matthew 7:13,14).

This ‘Damoclean Sword’ meditation…

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When the ‘Main Thing’ Isn’t

The American businessman Stephen Covey was the author of the well-known statement that "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." While that was said in the context of business it also is highly relevant to the existence, health and purpose of the church, particularly in the area of Mission. At the … Continue reading When the ‘Main Thing’ Isn’t