Friday, February 2

OrganicChurchMovements Conference

I have just returned home from the OrganicChurchMovements Conference sponsored by Neil Cole and his Church Multiplication Associates movement. The conference was held in Long Beach, California January 26-28. Speakers and workshop facilitators included: Alan Hirsch, Wolfgang Simson, Reggie McNeal, Neil Cole, Tony and Felicity Dale, Ori Brafman (author of the great must-read book "The Starfish and the Spider") and several others who I would have loved to have gotten to listen to but was unable to coordinate available time slots to attend all the sessions.

To be honest I am still processing the load of material that was shared. It was so deep and "right-on". To assist me I spent a fortune buying up several new books by the above named folks who explained in greater detail things they were sharing in their sessions.

Probably the biggest blessings was getting to not only hear these guys but actually sit around and talk with them! The conference was scheduled over several meals where we not only ate together, but had plenty of time to dialogue and share with those around our tables. What a blessing to link up with so many like-minded fellow pilgrims on the same journey! If I started mentioning names I would certainly forget to name them all, so won't even attempt it, but suffice it to say, I was incredibly blessed to hear the stories, struggles, victories, defeats, dreams of fellow church planters from all over the world. I went to the conference on "spiritual fumes" but have returned revived and ready for yet another round on the battlefield.

All the speakers and workshops were great but will share just a bit of what Wolfgang had to say. He spoke about the fact that we are in a new phase of Christian history where a new OS (computer operating system) of TRUST IN GOD will replace the old OS of knowledge. Listening to God as He leads step by step will become more and more the basis for ministry replacing plans, programs, strategies, etc.

When we feel that nothing is happening it is when God is most active. What is happening in these "silences" is that God is in the process of replacing our old operating systems for the new one that will carry us into the greatest harvest the world has ever seen.

How does one implement this new OS? Wolfgang shared that we must slow down and do less. We need to detox and allow God to replace the old OS with his new one. It's not about speeding up and trying to do more; rather get in tune with what God is wanting to do and follow Him step by step--listening carefully and trusting that He will bring about His Kingdom here on earth.

More later...

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Guy,
I have read a number of your past blogs. I am a Christian, 36 yo married woman, and an alternative school teacher. I wonder what you would say to using your church home idea/plan in a small town in rural Missouri? I am in a church which operates under the traditional "programs" that my seemingly spiritually dead congregation tries to adopt (or better explained) pushes my pastor to adopt, execute, then single handedly reel-in fresh tithers. I am an elder, no not a Baptist church. For years I have wanted to just knock door to door and tell people the GOOD NEWS. I keep feeling that I am bogged down with the church tradition frowning on my actions. Does the Bible speak to one, and a female at that, acting in His name? My pastor and I have discussed this and he has cautiously urged me on, saying that others do not show interst in seeing the church grow. Many want the church to grow. They just want someone else to plant water and reap. My dilemma: I want invite seekers to accept the BIG invitation. I do not want to share the GOOD NEWS in the name of the First P. Church...I want to share the GOOD NEWS in the name fo Jesus Christ. With all that I have read from your blogs tonight, you and many who have responded talk of simplicity, women workers, and breaking from traditions that tie one's hands from DOing. It is just that I know that without my Lord's blessing, I could knock until my knuckles bleed and He will not bless the work, saying "I never knew you." An earlier blog even spoke about the issue of baptism: who should/not pastor,lay,male,female. I have a desire to please HIM. Do I need to pray for a male partner to join me in this endeavor? Am I crazy??? Am I seeking my own way above God's perfect way? My husband is not gifted in this area. He believes, but he is a very private person. The passion within me is so overwhelming that some nights I cannot sleep. I will continue to pray and seek clarity. I typed into a Google search tonight and your site came up. I think my church is seeking church growth and I have a desire to witness...
Any words of wisdom are welcome!

GuyMuse said...

Dear Anon.

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your heart. I can really identify with what you are saying.I don't know how "wise" any words I have might be, but going back to the simplicity of the Gospel: the Lord has already spoken clearly to his church. The church is made up of male and female believers. He has commissioned us to GO, MAKE DISCIPLES, BAPTIZE, AND TEACH them to observe all that Jesus commanded. That includes both you and me. This passion raging within your soul is none other than the Holy Spirit urging you on to do what you were created to do in Christ Jesus from the beginning of time. You are called to be light and salt in this world. A witness to His greatness. Sadly, many times our religious establishments put all kinds of conditions and limits on what we "can" or "cannot" do. But our ultimate authority is Christ Jesus. He says, "ALL AUTHORITY is given unto Me..." It is Jesus himself who is calling us to a worldwide task of bringing in the harvest. I would encourage you to seek Him in prayer and ask not WHAT He wants you to do (that is already been clarified), but HOW He wants to use you to accomplish His Kingdom purposes in the world today.

I will pray for you anonymous sister in Christ that Jesus would use you mightily in reaching souls for Him and being all that you were created to be.

Jeff W. said...

To my Missouri Sister in the Lord -

Greetings in the Lord! I think it is exciting to hear what God is doing in your life. Such passion is from Him. When I read the Scripture, over and over again, God calls His people to walk with Him, love Him, serve Him, and hold fast to Him. God is clearly speaking to you. Just obey Him and walk as He leads. You will find the journey incredible.

I would also suggest that your walk be between you and the Lord and you share what He is doing in your life only as He leads. In other words - and a little more bluntly - there are many in the "organized" church structure who do not want or understand this type of relationship with the Lord. They will oppose you, and often be quite ugly about it. Enjoy your walk with the Lord. May He show you the way to accomplish what He has put in your heart.

Guy,

I enjoy hearing what God is doing in your life in Ecuador. Being involved in the SBC, I understand the risks you are taking saying some of the things you say and I appreciate it. It is my thought that new OS is the same OS that God has always operated in and wanted us to operate in. It is not something new (either in history or Scripture), but as usual the problem is us.

Jeff

Tim Patterson said...

Guy,

Look forward to hearing new insights. Glad to hear you feel revived!

antonio said...

off comment..are you on stateside or will you be around April 14? I say this because there is a conference I think you would be a good speaker.

Strider said...

Good thoughts, look forward to hearing more. I just read a guy today who said that we needed to stop making the priority on 'what' we believe and look more to 'how' we believe. I am processing this myself. I think it is going where Simson is going but I am not sure yet.

Darrell said...

I think it is great that you went to this. I wish I could have been there just to meet you!

I am curious if you found any differences between what you heard there and what you have learned elsewhere. My experience is that the CPM world that David Garrison, David Watson, you and others write about and practice is a distant cousin to the ideas of Cole, Wolfgang, and the Dales. One is very strategic, with intentional training, and goals; while the organic approach is "if you plant it...it will grow" no goals, no strategy, no intentional training of trainers.

I think that these differences account for the different outcomes that we see with each approach.

I also see much in common with all of them, and I have been blessed by all of them, and I incorporate some from all of them.

What are your observations?

Also I hope it gave you a good insight as to what is going on here in the USA. I would love to get your perspective as to what you saw.

GuyMuse said...

Jeff,

You are right about the problem being mainly us having installed a different OS than the one intended by the HS from the very beginning.

Tim,

It also helped to come back to four house churches getting together yesterday for baptisms! Even though it was probably one of the hottest and most uncomfortable days I can remember, it was glorious watching around 15 baptized and then fellowshiping with the saints in an all-day picnic at the river!

Antonio,

No we are not stateside, we are on the field. I will not be there April, but would love to be!

Strider,

Good thought, thanks for sharing it with us. I do think Simson was headed in that same direction.

Darrell,

While there are differences between the various house/simple/organic church camps, I have found that I have benefitted from all of them. They each have something good and valuable to bring to the table. My observation is that the h/s/o church movement is growing leaps and bounds in the USA. Every indication is that it is taking off all over the place in growing numbers.

EL OJO PROTESTANTE said...

Apreciado Guy
Mi corazón se regocija al leer sobre la bendición que significó para Usted concurrir al evento. Percibo que ha renovado fuerzas.
Con admiración y cariño
Daniel

GuyMuse said...

Daniel,

De verdad fue una bendicion, gracias por el apoyo y sus oraciones.

Burkhalter Ministry said...

To my fellow kingdom laborer sister in Missouri-
-Praying that you will listen to the Lord's calling and follow him. Your heart is calling you to go and make disciples, follow him and pray the Luke 10:2b virus for him to send fellow laborers with like minds to assist your work.
Guy-
So cool to read your updates- praying for your ministry! I would like to know who are some women4thekindom mentors that have walked in this along time that could inspire us.
Beth