Ambassadors of the Kingdom

27Sep06

We had a great discussion last night at House Church. We spoke of how we are Ambassadors of the Kingdom. In the last few weeks we’ve been talking about what is next for us as an emerging community of folk. What is God calling our little church into? What are we to be about?

The conversation seemed to be taking 2 simultaneous tracks. The Inward Journey and the Outward Journey (thank you, Elizabeth Oconnor). I have the sense that there a Great Spiral at work in our lives as believers. That as we grow in the Inward Journey so we grow in our Outward Journey. As we know Christ more and more we live-out Christ more and more. There is strong movement in the Great Sprial… a vortex of transformation that ebbs and flows by the Spirit of God. In the Inward Journey our common-union with God deepens which propels us into the pain of the world where our common-union with Humanity deepens.

This Great Spiral, I would submit, is very like the Missional Helix (from here and here).

We begin with Theological Reflection (TR) with our understanding of the Missio Dei (the Mission of God), the Kingdom of God, the incarnation and resurrection (etc…) into Cutural Analysis (CA), our exegesis of our culture, our engagement with the world, the milleu in which we live. From there into Historical Perspective (HP), our collective stories of the individuals and groups in our particular situation (in our case Cincinnati); this all propels us into Strategy Formation (SF) – how we do what we do, the enacting of our faith. As you can tell from the graphic (and I encourage you to read the articles linked above) you see that this is an ongoing process that builds. Like a spring or a spiral it builds on itself and cycles through these processes on ever deepening levels. Our strategy (how we do it) forces us back to theological reflection and on it goes….

To me this is a beautiful image of what is happening in our House Church. There feels like there is this deep deep churning going on in our conversations – both individually and collectively. Like hand churning butter or ice cream (which is a lot of work, by the way) we are spiraling together in this formative process of creation. It may seem slow or messy, but it definitely is in process. I very much have the sense that God is in the creative business with us right now. And well, I suppose he always is, God is always about creativity in the re-creative, new creation, redemptive sense.

We turned next to Philippians 3 and the amazing idea that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God. Everything else is rubbish, garbage save Christ. Jesus is the point of our top and we spin balanced on him alone. Only got to touch on this and I hope we can go deeper in the weeks ahead….

[There is] a present reality of the Kingdom among His sons and daughters. Paul concurs: “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20); “We are ambassadors for Christ” (II Corinthians 5:20; our allegiance is to Christ, the King of the Kingdom of God); we are “strangers and pilgrims” in a foreign land (I Peter 2:11). Our land is the Kingdom of God. The country we live in is an alien nation. In true members of God’s church, the Kingdom of God is already ruling in them. This is what Jesus means when He speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven. (from here.)

We are Ambassadors of the Kingdom and in doing so we spin like tops balanced on Jesus. We churn with Jesus. It feels like this deep churning is flowing through our community. It feels like God is up to something. It feels like the Spirit is in our midst. Where will this all turn out? What is it that he is forming us into? What is the Strategic Formation that will result as part of this Inward/Outward Journey of the Great Spiral?

I know not.

But it feels good to be in this place. God is birthing something in us as a House Church…. something for the City of Cincinnati. I feel as if we are following in Chad’s footsteps with all this. We are part of what God began in Chad and his vision for the City. For perspective on that see this collage of writings in Next-Wave. There you will read a blog post from But it feels good to be in this place. God is birthing something in us as a House Church…. something for the City of Cincinnati. I feel as if we are following in Chad’s footsteps with all this. We are part of what God began in Chad and his vision for the City. For perspective on that see this collage of writings on Next-Wave . There you will read a blog post from Kevin Rains shortly after Chad’s death:

“I literally want God to AVENGE Chad’s death by raising up 100 workers to replace him in greater Cincinnati; 100 new kingdom minded people who will plant “grass roots communities of faith in the city” (Chad’s words) over the next 2 years.”

I have sense that we are part of that. I hesitate to speak that because I don’t dare want to presume something we are not – this is way too important. But in humility I have to admit that I do see it that way. I hear echo’s of Chad’s sole podcast (which sadly seems to be offline now) where he shared his vision of a church for the city.

So, where does this take us? What’s next? Liz articulated it well last night:

“What is normative for a group of followers of Jesus? Are there norms? If there are norms then where do they come from, how do we discern them, and how do we enact them?”

Where does all this Kingdom-thinking, this Missio Dei, this cultural exegesis, this story-listening, this historical situation lead us? What are the norms by which we act? Our little group wants to “Do the stuff” (in true Wimber-style) but what is the stuff that we do? That’s where we’re going. And I’m pumped.

Kingdom Come.

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