Church, Community, Mission

What’s the difference between a Spider and a Starfish…

What’s the difference between a spider and a starfish?
-Well a starfish has its entire DNA in each one of its cells, even if a star-fish  is cut in half, it will re-grow itself as two starfish…
-Where  a Spider is one busy entity in the middle of a large  and complex project, sustained by himself, if he looses a leg he is unlikely to sustain his web, and if he looses more than one leg he will die.
Now think of the Church of today and the early Church we read about in the book of Acts…
Today’s Church feels like a SPIDER, a complex organisation, sustained by a minimal number, where the loss of a person or two can cause a Churches mission (and worship and ministry to cease).
Whereas the early Church seems more like a STARFISH, when the persecution came (Acts 8+) actually we see Church dispersed and rather than dying like to spider, new people in Jerusalem stepped up, and the scattered individuals planted Churches where-ever they were scattered…
SPIDER congregations are easy, what you do is very simple, you do it all yourself, or you do it with two or three people.
Yet how do we get STARFISH congregations? How can we get every cell to contain this missional-Christ-like-kingdom-hearted/minded DNA seeks to live out the Kingdom life where-ever it finds itself?
Recently I have been challenged by the concept of ‘growing leaders’ which is actually more than just ‘getting volunteers to do what I want’ them too, but growing leaders who have their own vision and calling on their lives -leaders who will continue to serve and see lives transformed long after we have faded into the mist of time, and they too will be those people who rise up new faithful Jesus people who will be sold out on him long after the generation who mentored them are no more….
Souled out on the vision of God, chasing after the spirit of God where-ever he leads.
So when we look at Acts 1 & 2 we can see:
Christ gives us the Task… ‘you’ll be witness  in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth” /”go into all the world and make them my disciples, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you!” /Kingdom come on earth as it in in heaven.
Team, in Acts 1 they replace Judas, but who is God calling you to partner with, there ought be no such thing as a solitary Christian, recently -today in fact- God has really challenged me about trying to work harder at Church being more like a family. Team, -Together Everyone Achieves More- the togetherness is larger than the sum of its parts. Who is God putting around you?
Timing… “Wait until the Spirit Comes”… Are we in step with the Spirit and where he is leading?
Target…  “Who is it God is calling us to reach” -Where is our Jerusalem (where we are know, where Christ has placed us), where is our Judea our wider and bigger context (ie the school you work in could be your Jerusalem, Kingswood/Bristol could be your Judea), Samaria those around us the people who aren’t quite like us those we step outside our comfort zone to meet and the ends of the earth is, er, the ends of the earth. Ask God who is he putting on your heart? Where is your Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria?
Pray that we are starfish.
Pray we are Churches full of Starfish…
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