Chapter Two of Finding Church
Finally, the promised update of Wayne's current project and newest book, Finding Church: What If There Really Is Something More? This is the rough draft of the second chapter entitled, "What if Jesus Taught Us Everything We Needed to Know About the Church?" We don't seem to believe that he did, since most Christians spend a significant amount of their time and energy doing things that Jesus never did and didn't train his disciples to do. Was he just not aware of the church during his ministry, or did he know that the church wasn't a means to accomplish anything, but that his church would take shape in the world as the fruit of people embracing the reality of his kingdom?
Wayne reads Chapter 1: She's Alive And Well in an earlier podcast
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Thanks Wayne for sharing another bit of your book with us! I can’t wait to here more! Once again my heart leaps inside of me for joy of hearing the picture of his kingdom painted so well! Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but our loving father himself! This saying has been going through my mind time after time listening to these podcasts . And at times when I am experiencing a new revelation of who the lover of my soul realy is on my own! It always gets me excited!!!! What if this same thing was what made Jesus so excited when he asked Peter “who do you say that I am?”and he replied “You are the messiah the son of the living God”. What if what Jesus was so excited about was that Peter had heard from the Father on his own ? And the rest of the passage simply meant . Peter, this is a perfect example of how I will build my church! I will build it by each of you hearing from and living in relationship with my father! And what comes out of this relationship hell itself can not prevail against it! What if this is the bride without spot he is returning for? What if it was never about whether Peter would be the founder of his church or not?
Would love to hear your thoughts on this!:)
I hope you and Sarah are having the time of your lives over there! Our hearts and minds are with you. May you have a safe trip home!
Great chapter! The truth is simple and unveiled! Harvey: loved what you said! “What if what Jesus was so excited about was that Peter had heard from the Father on his own ?” Isn’t that what it means to be a disciple! Jesus Christ is a wonderful leader, all the way to the Father!
Wayne, you described something so clearly that had been on my mind for awhile. My definition of unity has changed. I have always loved the idea of ‘keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace’ and how that fits with the division Paul talked about in I Corinthians 1. I have such rich fellowship now because I am not limited by having to be 100% the same with someone I fellowship with. Who has 100% of the truth? If we arrived at that level, what more is there to learn? I love it when someone says something, I know is straight from the heart of God!
Ok, this is so cool! Right after I left this comment, I went to face book and a man named Dan shared something from Matthew 16:16 (see Harvey’s post). Yipes! That’s no coincidence! Talk about unity!
Hi there Wayne, Just want to say for a single guy like myself who was in a very legalistic church for 22 years until I came out in 2009. The journey presently is not that easy. I have accepted my need to be free from systematic and religious control as I felt I was treading in a circle within my previous church. God brought to my attention through the reality of the relationships that they were lacking a great deal in grace. They were very functional and conditional. So I took the step of Faith to explore God beyond that church which I felt had honestly run its course. Since then I have been taught that God’s unconditional love can be trusted that I am not defined by my church but by Jesus offer to love me unconditionally. I have been visiting and exploring other churches but they too employ a system which I am done with. Galatians 2:19-21. Having said that I still need fellowship. I am currently attending a predominantly Asian church in the last few months. I yearn for deep Spiritual fellowship but as yet I am hoping to develop these kind of relationships within the framework they operate in. The difference with this current church is that they want to put Jesus at the centre where as for a very long time it was men at the centre and Jesus was sidelined. As you can appreciate when your done with religious organisations it’s not easy to find the right kind of fellowship which glorifies God,Jesus and the Spirit. Even so I do trust in his Grace and appreciate your experience too. Hoping very much to link with Christ centred believers who desire to bring glory to Him. Please feel free to be in touch and thank you for your pod-casts which shows there are other like minded seekers who God is hopefully moving into His community.Freedom in Christ and free not to be a slave to sin. Praise God for his work that we may rest in Him.
I love what you shared, Wayne. The atheist put it so well.
Thanks for those words, Harvey. “What if what Jesus was so excited about was that Peter had heard from the Father on his own? And the rest of the passage simply meant. Peter, this is a perfect example of how I will build my church! I will build it by each of you hearing from and living in relationship with my father! And what comes out of this relationship hell itself can not prevail against it!”
You have expressed it so well. This is how the body of Christ works with each of us listening closely to Jesus and speaking only those words He gives us and doing only those things he shows us. I like what Ginny said, “I am not limited by having to be 100% the same with someone I fellowship with. Who has 100% of the truth? If we arrived at that level, what more is there to learn? I love it when someone says something, I know is straight from the heart of God!”
One of my acquaintances left the meetings before I did. I used to complain about the ‘church’ but never once did she suggest I leave. After I had left she said, People need a revelation from God, they need to hear His voice before they leave. I can see that unless they hear His voice they don’t know what to do. What I am trying to say is that we all have parts of the revelation so we show love to those who come across our path and listen carefully to Jesus before we share our revelation with them. It is such a joy to be taught by Jesus that I don’t want to steal that joy from someone else.
I have an atheist friend. She grew up as an RC and said I soon realised they were not God’s rules but men’s and I don’t want a bar of it.
So excited about the message in this book you are working on. There is a new Era coming of the Body of Christ manifesting and operating as Jesus intended it. It is happening whether some like it or not. Nothing will stop it. Despite thousands of years of trying to repress, control and manipulate it, the Spirit of the Lord is just too powerful to be contained. I am so excited by what is yet to come. NOTHING can prevail against it. God commands the stars and the planets into being. How then can man have the audacity to presume we are the head that gives direction, counsel and purpose to The Body?
Wayne, just a thought: Would you consider organising/orchestrating periodical group visits to Israel as a form of connecting souls from all over the world to where it all began? I don’t know. It is a pressing thought that just came into my mind and I strongly felt I should put it out there.
Be safe, be blessed!
Thanks so much for sharing this chapter. I loved your quote “It’s teaching is more like a conversation about faith in the stern of a boat after a fierce storm then it is a lecture from a pulpit with a power point presentation in the background. It’s gatherings look more like a meal in the upper room than people sitting in rows in theater seats…”
Through a community center, I have recently begun “teaching” a class geared to help hurting women. However, everything in me resists the word “teacher” and the class room atmosphere. Instead I found myself moving our class to a smaller room, gathering around tables pushed close together and allowing them to share with me and each other as I shared, not taught, the encouragement from the center, that had helped me so tremendously. I cannot begin to tell you how much the women began to relax, open up with each other, share tears and words of encouragement, etc. It was very different from the classroom atmosphere I had received my guidance in.
Do I know what I’m doing? Not really…. I have no degree. I just ask God to take my words and the words of others and transform them into what He knows each one needs to hear. I am NOT a speaker, a teacher, a leader but I take a cue from Paul. “17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach (I share not preach) the gospel (and life)—NOT with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” I Corinthians 1:16.
Now, as I said, I don’t consider myself a teacher. I followed what I perceived were nudges from God and somehow ended up where I am, for this season. Me…the lifelong wallflower….
I still find myself derailed occasionally by chasing “principles” which keeps me grounded and humbled, trudging along in the trenches beside…. not flying high and mightily above…. those fellow travelers in this journey. However more and more often I am catching glimpses of what it is to walk in freedom by focusing on Him in the moment instead of becoming so fixated on finding the solution to what ever I and others are facing. This has been a tad tough for me. I want the answers…. the black and white solutions…..
We women may share with each other, but as we do, I am becoming more and more aware that I … that no one …has the answers. Things are not black and white anymore. They are a wild, discombobulation of tangled colorful tapestry that only He can weave.
Yes, I may often feel like I am in the trenches but I am more and more often seeing those wide open gorgeous patches of vibrant wild flowers that are littering the pathway of my journey. I love seeing what you, Wayne, your guests and the fellow travelers posting on this site are experiencing, learning and sharing. Thanks…
Hey Sheila , I loved the not black and white any more but vibrant colors thing you are seeing!
We had a very intense family meeting this past summer, where there was a lot of healing and new relationships started! The comment was made “things are not always black and white, some times they are grey, and that is ok!” In that moment a lightbulb went on in me and I said exactly what you are saying ! Not only is there grey there is red, pink, green , blue , yellow and a whole array of color! We have only seen a black and white God and father who either punishes or commends us! The father I am coming to know is soooo much more!!! If we would only look at the colors in nature it would teach us this! The amazing thing about it is there is no compromise by allowing more colors into our life just more clearity and life as we enjoy seeing who he realy is to us and dare I say in us!
How awesome that you too are learning from the best dad ever!!!
Mercedes, I don’t know if I see myself as the guy who does this stuff in Israel. I did want to get Sara here and thought doing it with some others would add to the experience. It’s a marvelous time and a great venue for helping people think through what it means to be part of the new creation Jesus inaugurated in Galilee, but I know so few people can afford to come this far and enjoy my times in their communities as well. So, we’ll see. I don’t see this happening every year, but will try to do it as God gives direction to do so….
“I don’t see this happening every year, but will try to do it as God gives direction to do so…” Always the best way, following God’s direction as and when.
Prayers and best wishes from the UK.
Great as always. Had a bunch of snow here in Oregon, 6″ with 8″ drifts, and temperature dropped down to 25 or so. Above zero. Brought everyone and everything to a halt. (Pause for laughter from Minnesota) Closed schools, communities, etc. Even church. Except my Saturday Am meeting. I got there early and shoved a bit which was a stretch for an old fat white guy. Waited on making coffee but two guys showed, one even brought doughnuts. Old guy got even fatter and we had a nice conversation as usual. Been doing this for over 20 years with these guys and don’t seem to be able to stop. In Ezekiel now, a bit like swallowing spiritual razorblades but we are discovering grace even in that book.
I have also started a conversation with my wife. She finds me somewhat indigestible at times so it has been nice to share and listen. Good stuff for us. Not sure we will get to where you and Sarah are but it’s a nice journey with a great gal.
I am eagerly awaiting the new book!
I have been listening to the God Journey for about a year – after my husband, children and I left the “boxed” church in Jan 2013. My background is that I was a “worship leader” for several years and then led a “ministry” that focused on human trafficking at our charismatic church. I put those in quotes because the terminology bothers me now. I was so worn out from performance and trying to meet so many expectations and needs, that I basically crashed. For several years I had felt there was something “not right” about how “church” and “ministry” were done. And my feelings were confirmed when I read the book Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola several years ago. But it wasn’t until last year that we were able to finally take the leap of faith and step away from attending and serving in a religious institution. Reading your books really helped confirm it was the right path.
I am learning to live in God’s rest and experience Him organically. I feel like I’ve been in detox this past year from all my religious training! I am so thankful for your podcasts! Just when I feel afraid that we’ve made the biggest mistake and I second guess our decision, I listen to you and feel that I am back “home”. I have never felt so free from religious performance, yet it’s scary because it’s so foreign to my upbringing (good ole southern baptist).
I am a mom of five children (ranging in ages from 16 to 9 years) and I get concerned about their relationship with the Lord, wondering where they will get fed and find community with other believers. I even offer to take them to our old church, but they don’t feel comfortable being there without us. Listening to your podcast a while back with your daughter was very encouraging, but I still wonder what I can do to help them navigate their personal journeys with the Lord. Every Sunday I just ask that they spend time reading the Word and then we have a relaxing day together. It’s wonderful to actually just REST on the Sabbath! And yet I struggle! We do have a small group of people in the same boat and we try to get together, but it’s very sporadic. Life is just so busy.
Anyways, I just wanted to finally leave a comment on your blog and say, “I’m here!” 🙂 I long to connect with other believers on the same journey. And I especially wanted to thank you so much for being a forerunner and a spokesperson in this new way of experiencing God. (Or maybe it’s the original way and we’ve just gotten off track over the past 2000 years!) Listening to you and your family are a drink of fresh water to my soul!
You are a treasure!
Just listened to this podcast, and was blown away yet again! It is truly getting clearer and clearer, what God is doing here is so resonating with me it’s beyond a breath of fresh air, thank you for what you are allowing God to do through you. You have no idea how far this ripple goes.
Noel Clark. You sound so much like me. I’d love to chat with you. My husband, children and myself left ‘church’ almost 8yrs ago. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long. I am still struggling with much of the same things you are but at the same time LOVING the freedom. It is incredible to meet people who are like minded. I have raised three children outside of ‘church’ now and it has been really hard. We have faced huge challenges. I feel it is possible I may have some insight for you but then again, maybe not. If you would like to talk please email me. email@example.com. Sincerely, Alicia
In my view you seem to be mixing up the different dispensations. That of the Gospel of the Kingdom ( the Ministry Jesus had to the Jews) and the ministry of Paul the Gospel of Grace that specifically was to the Mystery Church. Two separate ministries..
If this isn’t seen clearly it causes all sorts of muddles. The jigsaw pieces will never fit.
I am not mixing them up, Sue, I simply don’t believe they are two separate things. The Gospel of the Kingdom is the Gospel of Grace. The reason some want to separate them is so that they can ignore one or the other when the symmetry between them is where the glory of God unfolds, as I see it.
In my view, here’s an example of the different dispensations in place that separate the two. Ananias and Sapphiras’ sin was dealt with immediately as under the Gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus came to be a servant of the circumcision. The Gospel of Grace that Paul bought, deals differently with those under Grace.