Community: Earwig, Big Bang Theory, & Bible

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Sacramental community is the petri dish for sacramental entrepreneurs.  It’s where the crazy idea of starting new to reach new infiltrates your brain, like that earwig from Star Trek.  It’s where you encounter a parallel universe of apostolic geeks, like Big Bang Theory meets the Bible.

Sacramental community happens when a gaggle of geeks sold out for Jesus and growing in how His patented presence uniquely shapes them for kingdom-good, commit to walk together.  They are crystal on who Jesus made them to be and committed to live out Jesus shoulder to shoulder.  That, muchachos, raises the ceiling.  Lots of room for coolness.

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The Community Saves

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

A friend of mine once told me, “We believe that the (church) community saves.”  After double clicking on her meaning, the fullness of her statement became clear:  The unconditional grace of Jesus is best experienced in community.  Living in community with people who love us and grace us as an extension of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross – that experience helps move Jesus and His work from objective to subjective.  From teaching to being.  From external to internal.  Along the same lines as water transporting Word into my physical, experiential realm.

I suspect that has some connection with the Apostle Paul’s repeated use of the plural “y’all," perhaps even flowing from how Ananias called him 'brother' in Saul's initial baptismal welcoming.

I’ve treasured that understanding of community for many years and have witnessed time again the camaraderie and courage that flow from such spiritual relationships.  Ears had heard the Gospel but hearts received it not until the Word became flesh and was sacramentally shared by Jesus’ Body on Earth, His Church.

Christian community saves.

This neither takes away nor adds to Jesus.  Rather it speaks to the means by which Jesus’ salvation salves the wound.  It’s a sacramental grasp.  The Body of Christ on earth, His Church, is His living, breathing sacrament, wrapping His Word-presence and grace in broken but forgiven humanity and offering it to the world.  As the sacraments of Jesus, our lives present some of the most powerful ways Jesus’ forgiveness can be experienced by others.

This salvific community is at the heart of FiveTwo.  It’s a Jesus-community that breeds camaraderie and courage, two elements sacramental entrepreneurs are in dire need of.  It’s Jesus-relationships that lead to world-changing knowledge.

From day one, FiveTwo has had a three-fold strategy: 24/7 worldwide web; monthly local gatherings; annual national conference.  The annual conference – our WikiConference, September 23-25 in Katy, Texas – will host over 800 sacramental leaders from around the US.  Our website – fivetwo.com – is being radically overhauled and will be re-launched in August.  Our local gatherings – FiveTwo Locals – are now 40 strong, with groups from Hawaii to Alaska, from Florida to Washington.

The unified goal of these strategies? Create community.  Community saves.

Without community around common values, a national conference is just another place to hear compelling speakers. Without community that creates camaraderie, a website is just a place to download and pass on some information. Without community that shares a common cause, a local gathering is just a group of people trying to hang out.

But add authentic relationships into the mix and boom: everything goes deep and wide.  Pour on the gas and drop the match.

For FiveTwo to ignite a movement, community that creates camaraderie is job one.  That community is what happens in a FiveTwo Local. 

A FiveTwo Local is a gathering of sacramental entrepreneurs for the purpose of sharpening each other so that new ministries start.  It’s where the “how” is delivered in personal ways.  Where the “practical” is delivered by people who have tried it.  Where the common loneliness dissipates into common cause.  Where the sense of “lone, crazy guy” morphs into “a dance of thousands.”

FiveTwo Locals hold each other accountable to our goals of apprentices, starts and baptisms.  They provide knowledge through people.  They are a seedbed of change, a safe place where new can be explored and tested without being shot at, and a source of relationships that bind the broken hearted on mission.

Th FiveTwo local is a laboratory for living sacramentally.

The WikiConference?  A mountaintop community experience that’s become like my Schmidt family reunion on steroids.  But as great as the fresh smoked sausage and Aunt Dorothy’s sweet pickles are (work with me here), it’s only once a year. And that’s not enough to foster deep and abiding change.

Thus the importance of the FiveTwo Locals. God’s kingdom comes to life every day, no matter where you are, and as a sacramental entrepreneur you’re seeking ways to bring that kingdom to life. The Local is designed to set you on that course, all the while surrounded by others who are seeking the very same thing.

It’s a kingdom concept.  FiveTwo exists to tap into the growing and powerful Kingdom of God.  One of the fundamental shifts that FiveTwo is attempting is that we’re all in this together. It’s “respect for ALL”, not “respect for some” or “respect for me”. Respect for all. We can’t do this without each other. The Local, at its core, brings this together.  It offers you camaraderie and courage that you can’t get all alone.

So get thee to a Local!  Discover that ‘community that saves.’  If there’s no Local near you, consider becoming the catalyst that starts a local sacramental conversation. It all begins in relationship and in community.

So what do you think?  We’d love to hear your comments below!

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