Sunday, May 26, 2013

JUST WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

A THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTION


"There is a group actively changing the lives of some of the most broken people in our society. They are rebuilding shattered lives through conversational teaching, mentoring, true fellowship, candour and mutuality.

They have no buildings. In their charter they specifically state that they will never own property. They solicit no funds from anyone, and if they have a bank account of more than a few dollars they give it away.

In their meetings they each take a turn to share their ongoing struggles and difficulties, as well as their triumphs. If a member falls back seriously that are accepted, affirmed, and mentored back onto the pathway. They wear no "masks" of pretended piety nor do they use euphemisms to disguise the reality of their needs. Indeed, the one requirement for belonging is a deep appreciation of actual personal need and the impossibility of overcoming that need without complete dependence upon God.

In their meetings they reaffirm the basic truths by reading from the Book, they discuss the application of those truths to each other's lives, and they encourage each other - even clap each other - over the successes they achieve. Their meetings are so helpful and encouraging that many people attend four, five even seven times a week.

They have no professional leaders, and no paid staff running their meetings. No academic standards are ever required. Nothing depends on oratory; everything depends on reality.

Millions upon millions of men and women around the world are growing from perhaps the greatest of human bondage and brokenness to lifelong wholeness; from isolation and despair into true bonded fellowship.

And so without budgets or buildings, without "clergymen", or any professional leadership, without massive infrastructure, without hype or hyperbole, without PA systems and PowerPoint, they have changed the world as much as any organisation in history ever has. And importantly, they have done it meeting and working as Jesus and the apostles said the church should work."

Taken from "The Gathering" by Ray Barnett, pages 126, 127. Littleman Publishing. Two questions.....

  1. What is the name of this organisation? Clue: Known by two letters.
  2. Think what we as local churches can learn from their meetings?

A chocolate fish will be given to the most accurate, helpful answers!

Jack Guerin
Waikanae
NZ

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