For most of us, the New Year is marked by a sense of anticipation. The old year is done with; what will 2014 hold? Here are three of my ideas for what 2014 might bring for those of us in the simple/organic/house church movement (or those with an interest in the role of women in ministry).
There will continue to be an increasing emphasis on disciple-making movements. Profoundly effective disciple-making movements are beginning to emerge in this country, with, at this stage, hundreds of new believers stretching several generations. This is an exciting development, and one that I believe will continue to gain momentum. More to come on this in future posts.
The simple/organic/house church movement will maybe lose some people as those who joined it to be fashionable drop out. However, it will become a foundational platform for other things God is doing–for example, discipleship in the marketplace, Kingdom finances etc.
The conversation about women in the Kingdom will increase in intensity and become a (probably controversial) focal point.
Am I right? Only time will tell. What do you think will happen in 2014?
Business as mission is widely accepted these days. The workplace is seen as a fertile ground for witness by Kingdom living. But I believe we are going to see a new move, and that is of church in the workplace.
Let me give an example from our own situation. Around 14 years ago, we started a company that works in the area of patient advocacy. God has blessed what we are doing, and we have a wonderful team of around 15 people who work with us. They have released us to the place where I no longer work there but am free to put my time into producing resources for the simple church movement, including this blog and the books I have written, and Tony is able to take as much time off as he needs to involve in what is more traditionally viewed as Kingdom work.
We do not go out of our way to hire Christians to work in our company. We hire those who are best for the job. Over the years, a number of Christians have joined us, but also many of those who were not believers have become believers through their involvement with us or have had their faith revitalized. Every Friday lunchtime those who want to, come together, effectively for church. (Some see it as their church because they don’t get together with other believers on a regular basis). Some of our employees have initiated a daily prayer time before work to pray for the company and our interface with the people we seek to serve through the work the company does. We also make the counsel of a chaplain available to the people we help through our patient advocacy.
If church is no longer an event but a lifestyle, what could happen if Christians went out of their way to be church at work?