Thursday, November 20, 2008

Since we have been talking about faith and culture in our Wed. night services and how to reach our surrounding culture. I thought this blog by Fred Peatros fit well.

Beta Church Embraces Third-Place Communities

Being earthed in today’s culture and realities is about being connected and not separated, inclusive and not exclusive, being aware and not ignorant to issues our culture is facing. It invokes God’s people to learn again what it means to be salt and light.

A former Southern Baptist preacher, dismayed at failed attempts to establish a thriving new church, set up a retro shoe store. It soon became a popular establishment among the varied community of gay couples, artist, and aging hippies. The former preacher simply allows his ability to collect and sell shoes help him establish meaningful relationships. As a preacher turned spiritual explorer all his time is now spent with non-Christians (the people Jesus misses). This is his church, firmly rooted in the realities of the 21st century.

More and more of Jesus’ apprentices are beginning to see church this way, not a physical place to attend every Sunday, but a network of relationships and groupings that enable God’s people to build genuine community within its host culture while following Jesus. It’s a more informal, fluid approach to church that builds on interest and relationship networks already in existence. One anticipated fear of such a church model is that there will no longer be definable physical space around which to be church....
Whatever church model evolves, God’s people must find alternative ways of walking to the beat of God’s kingdom while connecting with God’s world. It can’t be about polarized, separate communities. It’s about reconnecting with the freedom Jesus gave us to go out into the world with his good news and to stop getting all worn out with building churches and programs.

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