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Direction(s) II

December 6, 2005

This series starts with the past Monday’s post

We have covered BACKWARDS, INWARDS, FORWARDS AND OUTWARDS.

What else should a church have as direction?

UPWARDS/
This is worship. But it more than we have traditionally meant by that word. It would include a corporate time dedicated to honoring the creator, our Lord and Savior. But all that God created is good. People, all people are created in His image. No amount of sin can erase that imprint that exists. So we daily move in the direction of seeking out God’s thumb prints on the world. We see him EVERYWHERE. We point him out for those who’s vision is cloudy. We celebrate Him and invite others to live this way. It is the best.

WHOLEWARDS/
Ok, that is not a word, but after five words that end in WARDS, I have to reach here. This is the idea that we are moving in the direction of being made whole. Individually and as a community. John Eldridge writes in Waking The Dead about the four streams that this occurs through. They acounselinging, Walking with God, Spiritual Warfare and Deep Healing. Way too much to unpack in one post, but Jesus said that he came to heal the broken hearted. The word literally means shattered. If we continue his mission we will be in the business of bringing those who are not whole to him for healing. As a community we also become more and more healthy. We are in pursuit of Life to the FULL.

CHANGEWARDS/
I am starting to like making up words. A church should move in the direction of irreversible change. Our congregation here has a big focus on education, not too surprising in a university town. But this is not education, although that happens. This is a goal of irreversible change. It is not inspiration though that happens too. Not encouragement although that happens. This is hearts and lives being transformed.

GROWTH -CLOSENESS/
I give up on the WARDS. We are to have a direction that not only helps others but brings them to Jesus, that they too become followers. This overlaps with some of the others but it is important. We grow in number. But we have to maintain the closeness that is needed for community. That means staying small while growing big. Being Tribal, fluid, like a war or scout party sent out from the Tribe. All a part of a whole but still able to do what the Tribe as a whole could never do.

AWAY FROM A RELIGIOUS SPIRIT/This last one is a tough one for sure. Jesus doesn’t call people to a religion. We have to move in the direction away from tips and techniques on being good. We are not called to rule keeping. We are called to follow him and to become JUST LIKE HIM.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2005 1:35 pm

    I’m afraid until we get that last one down: being like Jesus; we will be directionless…not just the church but me (yes Donna G). I will struggle with getting it all together if I am not striving to be like Him in all that I do.

    {this is wonderfulward stuff!}

  2. December 6, 2005 8:21 pm

    Hmm … a church that is the spiritual equivalent of Willy Wonka’s glass elevator.

    Now there’s a concept!

  3. December 7, 2005 9:44 am

    Keith,
    That is a Wonkavetor, and yes I have a specification for one..

  4. December 7, 2005 9:38 pm

    I’ve enjoyed reading your latest posts, Tommy, and would like to be a part of that church with ya! I guess it’s a journey as we become more like Him in our daily walk.

    Like the new words for my vocab.

  5. December 9, 2005 1:10 pm

    I’ve dropped by a couple of times this week to read your latest post, but things (and we all know what things I’m talking about here) kept getting in my way.

    So, I’m finally back this afternoon to finish reading. First, I absolutely LOVE the picture of the compass. Where did you find that? Cool!

    Second, I like all of your “directions,” including all those you made up yourself. You WERE getting pretty good at it.

    I think between you with your compass sweeping the earth and me with my wind vane sweeping the wind we’ve about got all the directions covered, don’t you think? Now, if we can just follow all, or even some, of those directions we’ll be on our way.

    In my view, as we go through life we are either constantly growing or diminishing. I’ve seen people, as I’m sure you have, too, who do, indeed, seem to diminish more and more year by year until there is not much of anything left.

    I pray to God that I never stop growing or learning or seeking new and better directions and ways to follow Jesus.

    I agree with Donna – this IS “wonderfulward” stuff!

  6. December 10, 2005 12:02 am

    Very interesting posts!

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