This my third post for the Big Tent Synchroblog dealing with these questions: What are your hopes and dreams for the Church? More specifically, what does “big tent Christianity” mean to you? And what does it look like in your context?
I want to deal with the first question: What are your hopes and dreams for the Church? In my first post I dealt with a definition of the church ( group of people who communing together in the midst of being on mission with Jesus). So, here’s how I see that playing out in my hopes and dreams.
I dream about a church that is scattered all over a city, town, or suburb in small, intimate groups that are keenly aware of the needs, heart cry, and passion of their surroundings. These small gatherings would each have an embedded DNA of mission, compassion, and kingdom. These gatherings would be outward looking always seeking to broaden their definition of family by inviting the stranger into their midst. They would gather around a common table fellowshipping together and worshiping through prayer and the word.
These who are scattered would come together each week and celebrate all that God is doing in their midst. Stories would be shared and the DNA of mission and kingdom reinforced through the preaching of the authoritative Scriptures. The church would be diverse in as much as the communities which are represented in it are diverse.
I dream about there being a revolutionary effect because the mission grows the kingdom and the pursuit of the King is relentless. Care and concern for the local would drive a vision for the global. The creation would be cared for through a reconnection to local food sources that would require the local culture to be sustainable for its own sake.
The Church would grow in scope as it scatters further and further birthing new celebratory gatherings and so on and so on. The very nature of DNA requires multiplication and diversity. When it becomes static and loses its diversity then mutations and problems occur.
For the church to be the beautiful bride of Christ it necessarily must be scattered, gathered, and multiplying.