(First Written, March 2006)
I am not sure what all the controversy is… I haven’t read enough about it in the last year, which is when it seems to have become such a hot topic of discussion.
The name of our church is Souljourn. It is Nazarene by denomination. I don’t agree with all Church of the Nazarene doctrine, although, when it comes down to it, I think we agree but we use different terminology for the same thing.
We meet in house churches once a week… our home being one of them. Twice a month we all meet for a worship gathering (code for church service ) – there are lots of candles and a “sacred space” for prayer one can escape to at any time, communion set up in the back… whatever. those are surface things I happen to like and enjoy, but aren’t the core of who we are by any means!
I love it. For the first time in the years since I graduated from my mission school in Papua New Guinea I have felt a true sense of family and community at a church. (as opposed to a Bible Study or my room mates) There is accountability, vulnerability, deep searching in God’s Word, (not just skipping over the parts that are hard to understand or hard to swallow because it applies too much to my life / attitude / goals, ) intimatacy, joyous and passionate worship, a sense of urgency and responsibility in evangelism regarding our neighbors and family, the people whom God has brought into our lives. I could go on and on… and we’ve only just begun… I am humbled as I see how far we have come, and how far we still have to go in being a small part of THE CHURCH that God has graciously called to bring HIS KINGDOM to this hurting world.
I don’t know if I really want to know all the controversy, because I don’t want to get offended and defensive (yes I know I don’t have to, that would be my choice).
But I do know that never before have I searched the scriptures so deep, and my church HAS been a part of that.
Never before have I had such a heart and burden for the unsaved (or as I like to call them my ‘pre-christian’ friends), and actively pursued and prayed with a believing heart.
Never before have I been so aware of the Holy Spirit’s activity in my life and His role in the church and my life, so amazed at Jesus and His teachings and His love and sacrifice for me, so in wonder of my creative God, His sovereign self, His unmatched power and HOLINESS, And in spite of all that I dare to approach His throne to worship and bless Him, to delight in Him, to plead and seek solace and guidance…
This is obviously not an all encompassing essay. I am not a “writer” per se, I have left out many amazing facets of who God is, and the purpose of the church and the pros and cons of emerging churches, etc. I write this not to make a case for the emerging church. Merely observations about my heart’s journey, my SOULJOURN the last 2 years.