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I arrived at this “event” with Milt and Mary Rodriguez, organised by Tim Martin, not knowing what to expect, and the same was true for a few others that I spoke to. However, it became clear after the first session that one or two had assumed they were coming for “organic church” and expressed aloud their disappointment that in fact the weekend was, as Milt had stated on the fusion web site and reiterated in response, an equipping weekend, i.e. lots of quite intensive teaching. As there was such a lot to digest, it was good that at each session there was opportunity given for group work, which included discussion/sharing and on another occasion silence/meditation.

The teaching was intense and meaty, and will take some digesting. What struck me was the emphasis on Jesus "Christ in us the hope of glory" and the "one new man" and not on how to organise organic church.

My guess is that there were about 40 plus delegates and I noted that the Netherlands, Finland, Newcastle, Yorkshire, Oxford, Berkshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Elgin and Aberdeen were represented, as well as my current home in north Shropshire. The fellowship I think was particularly sweet for many of us who normally feel so isolated. Most of us had lunch together on the Saturday at the EIS (Englishman Irishman Scotsman) restaurant and afterwards a walk to the Royal Yacht Britannia and back.

It was easy for me to go up to strangers and talk because there there weren't cliques. We were all in the same boat. Everyone obviously had different backgrounds, painful experiences and reasons for seeking organic church. Andy from Newcastle (who entertained us all) came along with his friend just to see what this “dodgy meeting” was all about. Another man from Newcastle who thought he was on his own finished up abandoning his train ticket and getting a lift back with the other Newcastle guys who he had unexpectedly met for the first time.

The excellent book table was provided by two lovely fellows from the Netherlands, Eric with help from his friend Alfred. I can't believe they managed to stuff all those books in their hand luggage!

We learnt that Milt and Mary had given up their home some time ago to be sojourners, helping to start organic church in various places, as they were invited. They only stayed a few months and moved on. They're currently in South Dakota but will be moving to (north or south?) Carolina soon. Phew, this really is taking God seriously. “Foxes have holes etc....”

If you were present and can add more memories/thoughts, please email me at thesheepshed@hotmail.co.uk

Judy

My notes on the Teaching

Friday evening

The “new man” lives in the “new creation” by means of the “new covenant”.


“so that he might fill all things”


“first place in everything

Eph. 1:9-11


Eph 4:9


Col 1:18


God's eternal purpose is so much higher than the one we think it is. For most people the Gospel is based on human need. God's purpose is is all wrapped up in the Son. God's “purpose” is everywhere


Without the vision, we fall apart - confusion


Gen 1 & 2

Rev. 21, 22 are similar


Who is the “new man”?

Jesus said “who do you say that I am?” Answer: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”



Matt 16


Paul's gospel - “This is what we preach” (and God)

Galatians is about things and the HEAD

Experiential knowledge


Col 1:9 (and Eph)


Galatians

 

Description of Canaan land – Jesus – pomegranate=seeds – milk, honey, silver, gold, trees, rivers, mountains and everything we need.


Deut. 8

 

Heavenly places are in Christ

“My kingdom is not of this world” - note: Jesus did not get involved in political activism!

The Kingdom of God is among you (as I am now)

The incarnation is God coming in the flesh – Jesus coming to reveal God.

The radiance of God's glory – the exact representation of His glory – “the firstborn”

All things visible and invisible, created by Him through Him and for Him. God relates to people through His “Son”. He is the Word. God has one language – CHRIST – His Son.

On the Mount of transfiguration God tells the disciples to “Hear Him”.

He is the Word become flesh and tabernacled among us. He's the house of God. In the book of John, He talks about Himself.

 


Eph





Hebrews

Jesus is the Head.

Head (Greek: kephale) means the life supply. He is the “first born“, the “first fruits“ – resurrection, fulfilment of feast of first fruits, the seed that died in the ground.


The Head is followed by the body.

The “One new man” - head is distinct from the body but they're one.

Peter said “this Jesus whom you crucified God has made him both Lord and Christ – a many membered man who has many parts – one new man – shepherd and sheep, bride and groom, wine and wineskin “that he would come to have first place in all things.

In Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell.

Paul at the end of his life says “that I may know Him” “This Christ who is the image etc..... lives in you. “Christ in you the hope of glory”

This Chris is our gospel. We preach HIM to the gentiles.

 





Col



Phil


Saturday morning

Equipping

 

Petros = small/piece of rock

Petra = a massive rock/mountain (perhaps he pointed to Himself as he

said this.


Matt 16


What/where is the new creation?

Anyone who is in Christ.

The saints, the faithful in Christ Jesus, the holy ones.

 


Eph.

Most letters are written to the Saints – circuit letter to Asia Minor, not just the Ephesians.


What are the “Christian laws”? Tithing, witnessing, helping the poor, read the Bible and praying.


To be a saint you have to be IN CHRIST - I'm a Holy One because He is holiness.

Even in Corinth Paul still calls them holy ones because they're in Christ.



In Christ are the spiritual blessings.

He has already blessed us.

We have everything we need in Christ. Everything he has is ours

What are the spiritual blessings? Read Ephesians. - peace, righteousness – fruit of the Spirit.



Ephesians


He chose us in Him before there was anything – in Christ. “chose” means hand selected.

Adoption means hand selection


 

We're partakers of the divine nature

Our inheritance (Him) and His inheritance (us)

Ephesians prayer – the fullness.

“Christ in you the hope of glory”



We're all in one another (“that all may be one”) happened at the death and resurrection

John 17

The Word was with God and the Word was God. In Him was the life and life was the light of men. LIFE


John 1:1

Most Christians live by the old covenant

What is in the New? LIFE



We have the right to become children of God – the word became flesh.



All of the Bible speaks of “ME” and people refuse to come to Him.

The Holy Spirit speaks of “ME”



The plan: Jesus Christ the centre of all things.



God has a *? of human flesh that he can walk the earth. God in *?



The Son can do noting of himself. v.19 unless it is something He sees the Father doing.

John 5



I can do nothing of my own initiative - working for God comes out of knowing God - intimacy.

The New Covenant – dependent on the life of His Father.



Get on the same page – have the same mind – one purpose – all about Him.

“humility of mind, consider others greater”

“...mind also in Christ Jesus”

Am I willing to lay down my life that His life be expressed.

The greatest becomes the least – takes the form of a servant.

God earnestly DESIRES.....and for Him to have it, I have to empty myself.

 

Phil

Jesus is the seed of the New covenant.



“I will make a new covenant – the law will be written on our hearts

Jeremiah


The old covenant is a tutor to lead us to Christ.

We are after all miserable failures at being a good Christian. A dead man is free!



“he who eats me will live by me” Eat me!!

John 6



Saturday evening

1 John – NT church

 

John's gospel was written at the end of his life to bring the church BACK to her HEAD.



Look for Christ in everything (NOT demons)



Hints 1st movement

Church life comes from God. God was having fellowship with himself.

Inside the living God was an altar – a place to lay down His life for the Son.

The Son lived by the Father's life.

The Son lays his life on the altar of the Holy Spirit and gives his life back to the Father.

Divine life/eternal life/the highest life there is. A continual life of fellowship, giving, sharing.

The foundation/model

John 14-17


TRYING TO BUILD A CHURCH BASED ON A NT MODEL IS FOLLY.




Plan for community life of the Trinity to be shared – the river needs to flow out.



2nd movement

Community – baptism + Father Spirit.

He operated in conjunction with a community.

The tree of life re-appears on the earth.

Discipleship classes??? NO!!

Just have the life with the Father through the Spirit in front of people.

For three and a half ye3ars, the disciples were JUST WITH HIM.



3rd movement

Jesus dies

Day of Pentecost – Jesus has gone.

What we have seen, touched, handled of the Word of Life, let's share that.

Disciples with the church in Jerusalem 4-6 years before dispersion.

Fellowship/function/share community life – gave their lives to one another.

Meeting daily, breaking bread – no passivity.

Disciples already have experience of community life with Jesus.





Acts

Pendulum swings too far – no leaders.

Even if spontaneous, churches are going to need help – see Acts

No record of any church not needing outside help.



Acts

If there is a crisis, help is definitely required from outside.

The difference is that OUTSIDE HELP MUST EVENTUALLY LEAVE.

Priscilla and Aquilla – prep planting movement



4th movement

Antioch – “What is the measure of Christ in that group?” Read T. Austin Sparks



http://www.austin-sparks.net/

5th movement

Antioch – ministering to the Lord – separate Paul and Barnabas.

God and the church sent them out.



Paul and Barnabas to to Galatia 3-6 months with each group0. They taught them “what we have seen/handled...etc.” “...that you might have fellowship”.

How do you do it? Experience the life with Christ.



Preparation takes years – BE A BROTHER FIRST.



5B or 6th movement

Ephesus – plants church but bring eight brothers and trains them – Tychicus etc.

They plant churches all over Asia Minor.

The story continues throughout history. (Waldensians in Italy etc.)

Centrality and supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ – all functions – expression of the Godhead.

(Anabaptists – Switzerland 3 brothers) (The Brethren – little flock)

All live by the in-dwelling Lord – the New Covenant

“We all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transfigured into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord the Spirit”



 



2 Cor. 3:18

You are transformed just by seeing Him.

“Set your mind on things above”

Continually beholding the Lord.



When we read the scriptures, look for HIM with the eyes of the Spirit.


Sunday morning

Practical suggestions

Read books

“The Temple within”

“The community Life of God”



Www.housechurchresource.org

www.therebuilders.org/Scotland for latest audios at conference



We need a critical mass 8-10 people and then call for help.

Priscilla and Aquilla ministry


Romans 16

Remember we're pilgrims passing through.

We can stay put or we can move.



Pray with travailing, persevering prayer



Start a reading group (suggestion “From eternity to here”



Advertise on Craig's list, local newspaper etc.

Call local newspaper and provide a report with a picture of you which states that you're looking for people in the area interested in organic church



Read “Finding Organic church” by Frank Viola?



Start with community for six months – nothing religious.

Relax, get together.



Don't try to reform the institutional church. We're not against the IC.



Copying Acts does NOT work. - it's not a cookie cutter – it's LIFE.

Love – accept – fellowship



Don't try to provide a training programme



Watch out for www.organicchurchlife.co.uk to be up and running.