May 20, 2021.
There are many scriptural things to focus upon. Each week when we develop our teachings from the Bible, we find a new insight that captures our attention for those days. And that is good. It is a wonderful thing that the scriptures have the ability to grab our attention over and over again. However, there is one portion that is simply greater than the rest…
#JesusStories: The story of the transfiguration creates so many questions: Why did that need to happen? Did Jesus need that glorious experience for his strengthening? And why were James, John and Peter invited to join? It obviously was an enigma to them as it was occurring: the two son of thunder were seemingly struck dumb as the glorious figures gathered, and Peter went into ‘ramble mode’. He immediately suggested (Matt 17: 4) that they should build three shelters – one for Jesus, another for Elijah, and still another for Moses. Hmmm. Why is it that we humans are so prone to build stuff when we encounter the presence of the divine? We build buildings, programs, ministries, organizations…all of which are good, but I’m not sure that is God’s immediate goal for pulling back the veil and allowing us to see His glory. Because just as Peter was warping into ‘build mode’ God interrupted him; the presence of God settled upon them in a glorious cloud and out of the cloud spoke, “This is my own dear Son, Listen to what he says!” In other words, stop building stuff to memorialize this moment, and just listen to the words of Jesus. We have a real problem today; we talk about Jesus more than we listen to his actual words. Yet, Jesus’ actual words are what we are supposed to build our lives and leadership upon. Not the idea of Jesus, not the gospel as is told by the Romans Road or the Four Spiritual Laws, or any other modernist reduction of the gospel, but Jesus’ actual words. Maybe we all need to somehow experience a transfiguration of our own, so we will hear the Father remind us to become enthralled by the words of his Son. Now that is something to obsess about.
#DinnerChurchQuotes: “The Rule of Benedict (the founder of the first monastery) – the stranger is to be received as Christ, welcomed warmly, and invited into prayer, the reading of the scripture, and a shared meal.” -Christine Pohl
#PracticalStuff: Many of our Dinner Churches across the country are still meeting on the sidewalks for Covid reasons, including us. Given that this might continue through the Summer, how are you delivering the Jesus Story? Here are a few thoughts: 1)give them a Jesus Stories bible and talk about the centrality of the Jesus Stories in our lives (order them from DinnerChurch.Com @ $3.95/each), 2)if offering an up-front speaking moment isn’t practical, then walk around the ‘eating circles’ and tell the Jesus-Story-of-the-Day and pray over that circle before moving to the next, 3)type out a Jesus Story on paper and walk around the ‘eating circles’ handing them out, and give the cliff-notes of the story. However you can, keep the Jesus Stories central in your gatherings…even on the sidewalks.
Blessings & Boldness,
Dr. Verlon and Melodee Fosner have led a multi-site Assemblies of God Dinner Church in Seattle, Washington since 1999 (www.CommunityDinners.com). In this decade when more churches in the U.S. are declining than thriving, and when ninety-six churches a week are closing, Verlon and Melodee sensed that a different way of doing church was needed for their 97-year old Seattle congregation. It soon became obvious that they were not the only ones in need of a different path. They joined the FX team in 2016 and founded the Dinner Church Collective. And then in 2019 founded the Dinner Church School of Leadership. There is a lot to be gained when church leaders begin to see open doors in the American landscape that they had previously overlooked. Therein lies the journey for those who will forge a new future for the American Church.