© Fellowship at Cross Creek
Looking Backward to See Forward: Coincidence or Inspiration? Parts II and III
Part II (Evidences: 16-24)…Chase’s Successful Surgery; Church of “Diss-ed” Bridgebuilders; Discovering Passions; Building a Prize-Winning Float and Serving the Community.
16) Disappointingly, Chase P’s brain tumor has begun to grow again, but, once again, amazingly, it is successful removed. (Aug.-Sept. 2010).
17) Beginning with elders, and eventually moving on to the Body, in a series of Fellowship Fall Family Meetings, Joe asks, “Do you still believe in Fellowship? Is Fellowship still relevant? And if so, explain our Disconnect with our own Community.” The Answer is an overwhelming, “Yes, Fellowship is relevant. It has changed my life.” (Aug.-Nov. 2010).
18) What comes of these meetings is that Fellowship’s role has emerged, as coined by Kevin H., as THE church to the “Dissed” (the dissatisfied, disenchanted, disgusted, disappointed) in SW Missouri.
19) Much like the Taneycomo Bridge makeover, Joe begins to asks, How do we makeover our spiritual bridge decking, while at the same time, still retaining the vital supporting arches of Fellowship’s Form Follows Function approach to ministry?
20) From these discussions, Sheila T. develops a revised Fellowship mission strategy, and in so doing, begins to reveal her passion for using her own gifts for God’s glory.
• Updated Mission Strategy:
“Fellowship seeks to ‘build bridges’ to those who are dissatisfied, disenchanted, disgusted and/or disappointed with “church,” but still desire a relationship with God.
We will use our individual, God-given gifts to work together, with passion and purpose, to more effectively reveal Fellowship’s “treasure” to other members of our community.
By continuing to foster an environment for learning, worship and spiritual growth, we will develop even more “bridge-builders” who are then able to help accomplish the mission.
21) One night, as the group seemingly hits a wall as to where to go next, Mickey P., based on a recent classroom assignment, asks, “What is your/our passion?” With the hope that God will reveal his next passion for Fellowship through the Body’s many passions, everyone in the church is asked to answer–What is your passion?
22) Also, based on a class from his discipleship program, Mickey P. momentarily rejuvenates the Youth class by beginning a study based on the book, 30 Days to Understanding the Bible. (Nov-2011).
23) Inspired by LC Coordinator B. Huddleston’s passion, N. Sharpe’s Home Church builds and enters a prize-winning Christmas float in the annual Adoration Parade. Proceeds from the award begin to fund the long-delayed completion of the youth room (Late Oct-Mar. 2011);
24) Also at the same time, despite personal hardships, Hortencia M. perseveres in using her extraordinary administrative gifts to pursue her passion in coordinating several Fellowship ministry outreaches to financially-challenged families (Dec-March 2011).
Part III (Evidences: 25-30)…The First Pentecost; A Think Tank and an “Accountable Love” Refresher Course?
25) From August 2010 thru August 2011, Joe continues the Sunday morning series which he began before Easter 2010. Moving beyond Jesus’ counter-intuitive bridge-building techniques in the Gospels, in Acts 1-9, Joe begins to examine just how the apostles, with the Spirit’s help, were able to follow through with Jesus’ Great Commission.
26) At Pentecost, the disciples continue preaching Jesus’ message of repentance–a repentance in light of Judah’s rejection of Jesus as their Messiah. Soon, despite increasing religious opposition, with the Spirit’s inspiration, the church explodes, growing from several hundred to as many as 40,000 new believers worshipping in Jerusalem, including women and children.
27) One deacon, full of the Spirit and knowledgeable in the OT, Stephen, rises to great prominence within the church. But Stephen is martyred when he stands up to religious opposition. With his martyrdom, a great persecution breaks out against the church, causing many to flee Jerusalem. Paradoxically it is through the church’s suffering that the Spirit begins to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission.
28) One of the great lessons drawn from the early church’s experiences is its willingness to suffer for what is right or one’s faith. Today, can we risk uncomfortability with, or rejection by, others by simply asking, “How is your relationship with Christ?” For Saul (later Paul), who initially caused great harm to the church, but was later captured by Christ, this question means everything.
29) While reaping great benefits from Fellowship’s Fall Family meetings, Joe also discovers that the more concrete planner/doers don’t really enjoy the initial abstract thinking often required before the planning or doing. Again, inspired by Gen. Moore’s Just One More Thing, Joe creates a temporary Think Tank of more abstract thinkers to advise him as to what to do with the Fellowship Toolbox?
30) In one of the Think Tank meetings, Sheila W. suggests, Perhaps we could all use a refresher course in Accountable Love…that is, if we are to advise you as to what to you are to do with it? (Spring 2011).
(Up Next: Part IV (Evidences: 31-43)…Infusing Worship with a Few Missing Ingredients; Joe Takes a Much-needed Teaching Sabbatical; Dave English Exposes Fellowship to New Look at Grace; God’s Provision Once Again; a New Name for Accountable Love; Increasing Momentum; Yet Another Schedule Surgery for Chase.)