i’m just sitting at the computer reflecting on the past week. i had a very interesting conversation with a fellow pastor in my denomination. While i’m part of the whole emergent culture thing, i have not broken the ties with my denomination. i’m attempting to move forward while remaining within my current denominational structure. This does tend to slow the process down a bit and cause some frustration, yet the calling of God is always before me.
My allegiance is to Christ and not a denomination. i am continually re-evaluating things as God opens the doors for me. If events were to lead me out of my current denomination, i'd go. i may experience a time when i cannot remain within my current denominational affiliation and fulfill my calling; then i'm out of there. For the time being, it remains an opportunity and personal paradox i live with.
i met with Cal for lunch last week. He is the presbyter of our geographic area and would be the person to “OK” a new church of our denomination within his jurisdiction. i’ve consciously decided not to work the political angle and just be me. i’ve often thought that being an independent would be easier but feel the Lord encouraging me to work within my denominational structure. i think many things in my denomination are just stupid, but I am obedient to where God has me. i trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit in this process.
Anyhow, my meeting was great! i am totally amazed at how kingdom minded the conversation was. A kingdom minded guy who represents a denominational structure. He was totally relational and more concerned about what i felt God was calling me to do than denominational issues. i expected him to push what the denomination would like to see happening. Hmm. . . i was sufficiently impressed. My expectations of him and the meeting were too low. i definitely needed to adjust my thinking. i’ve encountered the heavy-handed approach all too often within a denominational setting. This was very refreshing.
i keep realizing that we do not need to distance ourselves from the contemporary church. We can work with any church that has a differing worldview as God brings about His Kingdom. While i see a lot of bad things in the “institutional church,” there are some great people there as well. i should not just throw-out-the-baby-with-the-bathwater. i hate to say it, but, i’ve been too narrow in my thinking in some ways. All structures man creates will be flawed. Yet we should always be open to relationships with people who lead within those structures. After all, that could be me one day in an emergent structure.
While i don’t think of myself as a ‘change agent’ within my denomination, i do believe that transformation can happen to any individual or system that is listening and obedient to the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that my denomination will open itself to what the Spirit is doing in this emerging culture.