Mark & Jacqueline have been married for 27 years & have 4 boys. “Community is about family & friends meeting together and sharing God’s love.” Pastor Mark Bohr

The Emerging Church are wanting to connect with other people, Churches, Ministries, organisations, companies and groups who have a desire to express God’s love in a caring and peaceful way, rather than in a manner of being judgemental and uncaring. These groups can exist in any form in other Churches, religions, companies, sporting activities, coffee shops, focus groups, workplaces, or even on the street or in the park. This is almost a protest of how the Church has failed to live up to the expectation of the world.

The Church has incited violence and hatred over many years and centuries, because it has been focused on doctrine, at the expense of the sacredness of humanity. We are all made in the image of God, and our focus is on treating people with respect and dignity, allowing those who are different to be different, instead of suppressing individuality. We want people to be themselves so that we can all be true to who we are and the world can be a better place.

These Communities also exist for transformation, as we will be challenged by God, each other and our actions when we meet. These challenges will purely be who we are and not what people are trying to make us. We are all on a journey of finding ourselves and being who we truly want to be. The pressures laid on us by others can hinder true self-expression. Self-expression must be based on the values of treating others with dignity and respect, so in our self-expression we still need to act in an appropriate manner.

These communities exist in every area of society, meeting together and talking about:

1. God

In talking about God, it is important to let people talk and not get ‘preachy’, pushing your agenda of what you want them to believe will only turn them away. Have a healthy conversation about God or even a view on the non-existence of God. Use a scripture (as this is where we get our inspiration) and give your view, but always allow others to give their opinion without disagreeing. Don’t get into a debate, we want conversation to flow in a way in which we respect and learn from people’s views, rather than trying to convert people to our way of thinking.

2. Choose a Topic.

(We will have a topics on our blog that you can use if it is appropriate.)

Have a focus each week, fortnight or whenever you meet that is focused on either God, people, the community or the world. Share your story about your life with God and how God has impacted you. Get others to share their story. In a postmodern world, each story is respected regardless of the differences. The more diverse a group is, the more impacting your group can be on mindsets, prejudice and cultural norms. Beliefs are challenged when people are open to hearing others. If people are not open, then it is important to give them space.

3. Prayer and Planning

For those that want to pray. Pray for the needs of the people, the community and the world. It is also important to have projects of wanting to help. Look at the needs in the group, community and world. Agree together on a project in which you can help someone in need. It is very important to follow-up on people who are in the group and are not attending. This follow-up is about showing care for the individual and is not about the group. The focus must be on people and not on the success of the group. It is about caring for each other and being available when needed.

4. Action

These Communities are action groups that want to action God’s love. Have a project of helping someone in your group, your community or the world. Take up an offering or give up your time in a voluntary capacity. Always be considerate when thinking about others. You want to help, but you also need to ask the people you are helping questions concerning what help they need. If they don’t want help, then the best help you can give them is not helping. Only help where needed and respond appropriately to people by being confidential and thinking about other people’s feelings, instead of thinking about your own agenda.

 

If you are interested in becoming one of these Communities, having a group meeting, or you already have a meeting and you want to connect with other Communities, then please send me an email at markbohr@theemergingchurch.com.au. Alternatively, you can become a member on our web page and share more about your desire to impact our world.