July 20, 2021.
Every human culture is like a pair of glasses; it allows us to see certain things while at the same time blinding us to other things. This is true of family cultures, ethnic cultures, regional cultures, national cultures, and of course church cultures. In other words, you and I are completely blind to many things because of the cultural circles we inhabit. Here’s one…
#JesusStories: In Matt 26 Jesus told a parable about Sheep and Goats. In this story Jesus likened the sheep to those who were paying attention to His priorities by taking care of the poor and the oppressed, and the goats were those who did not. This is a painful parable for much of the American Church due to our primary focus upon the middle-to-upper-class peoples. Our way of doing church assumes the two-thirds of the population who can pay for it. We never set out to be ‘elitists’, but for economic reasons we have ended up very close to that identifier. The most interesting part of this parable however, is that the sheep did not even know why Jesus considered them so attentive to Him; nor did the goats know why Jesus considered them so inattentive. The sheep thoughtlessly and naturally went to help those with the greatest need, and ended up being in the exact place where Jesus was attending. The goats on the other hand had no such instinct, and were completely blind to the places and peoples where Heaven was most focused. I am sad to admit there were seasons in my ministry when I was so busy doing church for the well-dressed and beautiful people that I was blind to the potent entry points of the Inbreaking Kingdom. Lesson learned. And it was this ‘sheep & goats’ story that helped me find the BIG FRONT DOOR that swings between heaven and earth.
#DinnerChurchQuotes: New church planting requires going to places on the margins, not the affluent places where churches already exist. -David Fitch
#PracticalStuff: One of the greatest leadership questions for any team to consider: ‘Who in our town already knows they need help?’ This question comes from Jesus himself who said that he had not come for those who think they are righteous, but for those who know they are sinners (in other words – ‘know their life is off track‘). Would you consider leading your DC leadership team in a meditation/conversation on Mark 2:17 (NLT)? And then ask where the people live in your city who might feel their life is ‘off track‘? And then perhaps call your team to do a prayer-walk in that area to hear what the Spirit might say?
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.