then we will throw our easter vigil (sat march 26th, 8pm-1am) called 'RISE'. - rise it is not a 'worship service' in the trad./modern church sense (no sermons, bulletins, hymns, coffee hour, linear progression...) but a what we call a 'worship party,' a bash in honor of the risen Christ, open to saints and sinners, believers and non-believers and anyone from the 'highways and byways.' we don't throw this party to congratulate ourselves because we believe in Christ, but to give thanks to God because Christ believes in us, first loved us, gave up life for us, and rose to invite us all to become his friends and live his reign.
at worship parties we don't begin with a church service and add in cultural elements. but throw a real party at which Christ hosts, apostles tend bar and wait tables, and where anyone off the streets is welcomed to attend.
at this 'mother of all parties' we: pop corks (to tost the resurrection), feast to new life (with holy communion and high carb 'fat things'), toss darts at the devil (to show hell has been crushed), baptize new apostles (to give light to the righteous), installl art, jam to bands, kick back with djs and party beyond 1999.
we expect the mix to be 'non-churched' to 'churched' 2 to 1. we walk among cats (in cat culture as natives) knowing that they/we can't be herded, but can be loved and 'invited for all time' (song by dismemberment plan). our emphasis is very trinitarian (relational) and parabolic, as we see ourselves as 'living into and living out of' the parables (especially the parables of the prodigal and the wedding feast).
we are finding multiple and layered pathways for 'home coming' for those who may not have know they had one.
missionary impulses in today's culture are great, but such impulses are best answered, NOT by hiring missionaries, but by supporting native evangelists.
all one need do is study the history of global 'mission' see the tragic trail (of toy euro-gothic churches built in the middle of african plains and asian landscapes...) and also see how a new way is being born- a way that is moving AWAY sending missionaries (foreigners) to a priority on cultivating and supporting local 'evangelists' who can 'reach' their own.
true mission, someone in wisdom has noted is 'finding out what God is doing and getting behind it'
i advise not to waste missional energy and scarce financial resources trying to 'create' something for others, but instead look around and 'open you eyes' so you can see when God is already doing something native amongst emergents near you, and support them, then those folk will grow a native mission that is for and by emergents who can expand outward and 'reach their own.'
wisdom from professor eddie gibbs of fuller seminary, pasadena:
at apostleschurch.org this is where we dwell on a daily basis.
Karne Ward is pastor at apostleschurch.org