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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

confluence - for such a time

...at New Wineskins, which attracted me several years ago because of the missional structure and mindset...

Dean Weaver spoke on the opening night about the opportunity before us as outward-focused congregations. He described way God's timing coincided with human history for the geometric spread of the Gospel. In the early church, the Roman road network enabled the church to expand to the known world. At the time of the Reformation, the printing press allowed for Reformation theology and teaching to be spread quickly and thoroughly to the people. And now, there seems to be a great opportunity through the Internet to partner and reach the world with the Good News of Jesus.

I think Dean's analysis was spot on... not that the Gospel will spread because of new technology, but that in God's Sovereignty earthly tools can be sanctified and used mightily for God's work in the world.

I was also struck by the particular way several of these themes (mission, technology, networking) come to confluence in our local setting at Good Shepherd and in Charlotte.

I (with others) have been pursuing a number of ministry networks in and around Good Shepherd. We have defined our own "Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria, ends of the earth" and are trying to partner with other churches in our area for the "Judea ministry."

I also recognize that we support a number of missionaries through Wycliffe, and specifically through the JAARS center (of Wycliffe) in Waxhaw, NC. Further, besides aviation support, JAARS is a technological support base for Wycliffe's work worldwide.

Finally, I admit to my own interest in the Internet for networking, mission, and ministry.

Here's the confluence: could it be that Good Shepherd could help implement and enable a Charlotte-area ministry network for which one major focus would be partnership with JAARS/Wycliffe for a worldwide ministry of carrying the Word of God to unreached people groups, using technology to enhance participation and partnership?

Yes - I think we can! Consider me on it. :)

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