Twelve pots of coffee.
Ten rocking chairs.
Three games of Mafia.
One incredible weekend.
A few weeks ago, a group of BCMers embarked on a journey to Gatlinburg, where we unplugged from life for a bit and let God speak to us. During our six study sessions in the cabin theatre, Francis Chan challenged us to get back to basics and begin living the way Jesus intended the Church to live:
~seeking out the full power of the Holy Spirit
~engaging in REAL, deep-love fellowship
~digging into Scripture
~praying in community
We learned that Fear = Lack of Control = Dependence, that the Holy Spirit desires to show us power we can’t even fathom, and that such power is manifested when the Church comes together under a unified Mission.
And no, that Mission isn’t to put away twelve pots of coffee in less than forty-eight hours. Chan explained that the Mission of the Church is to teach others to obey Jesus’ teachings. It’s that simple. If we can get that right, everything else just falls into place.
But we can’t do it alone. The Church is only successful when it functions in community. That means walking together, encouraging each other, challenging each other. It means celebrating the victories and mourning the losses—together. Being the Church means facing the hard things arm-in-arm, because two heads are better than one. Do you remember playing Red Rover in elementary school, when you dared the other team to try and break your seemingly impenetrable bond? Kind of like that.
But perhaps most apparent to us that weekend was the idea that the Church PRAYS IN COMMUNITY. Even if we aren’t literally praying together (which we should do), we are all praying with the same unified Mission in mind. Following the video session Saturday evening, the Holy Spirit led us into a time of rest and renewal. We prayed for specific needs, for specific people, for healing. And we thanked God for each other—out loud, together. It’s funny how God knows just what we need when we need it.
Now we are three weeks removed from that wonderful mountaintop escape. As we near finals, holidays, and winter weather, the pressure to forget all that we learned increases. Perhaps more than any other time of year, we CANNOT forget the Mission now. We just can’t forget to lift each other up, to dare to follow Jesus into the hard places, and to let God show us just how big He really is.
So here’s to redefining Church. We’re going back to Basics.