Our Recent CFL Dinner

All of this is about Jesus, and who we are in Him. 

The night started with kids playing and Thomas giving an introduction to the evening. Nigel prayed for our tacos and our time. We then heard from Nigel and the Safe House Project. We moved on to a time of calibration, then communion led by Jeremy Penn. We ended our time in worship to Jesus. A lovely night all around. Read Thomas' thoughts on the night here: http://thezoeproject.net/church-isnt-a-building/


Follow Up Thoughts and Notes

Here are the slides for the talk I gave.

The scriptures I read at the end of the night: Genesis 12:1-3, Galatians 3:23-29, Romans 12, Colossians 1:15-28. All of it was the Message translation.

The Unconference 

We want to include some of your written prose, poetry or musing. If you have already something you have written to be included in the booklet for the Unconference, please fill out this form: https://airtable.com/shrkPtbg7akAuInMZ It can be a blog post, a past presentation. Anything really. 

Perhaps after hearing how we will organize the unconference you had a bit of inspiration. I already heard of one session idea that is amazing, that I would have never thought of, which is exactly why this format is so powerful. If you have an idea for a session, go ahead and fill out this form: https://airtable.com/shr5YBUmnHaV8nOIN Again, we are unsure of how many participants we will have so submissions the more the merrier, even if we can’t get to them all!  

Feel free to sign up for email updates to the unconference here: https://cfl.church/unconference and share the link with anyone else that might benefit from coming.

The Apostolic Team Vision 

We are in a time where the western church has franchised the gifts God has meant for us. We stream online teachers (because they are better, or we agree with more of what they say), we send our mentally troubled and depressed to Christian counselors, insteading of walking with them and confessing our sins to each other. We have traveling evangelists that present the gospel then move to the next town. Our prophets are writing books, because we stopped listening. And the apostles are starting para-church organizations because they are tired of waiting for the others in their church to act. These are signs of unhealthy churches and sickness. These are the gifts that God gave His church so that Genesis 12:1-3 could be realized. I am asking us to reconsider the Scriptures and how we respond to Jesus.

I am not saying that listening to sermons online, going to Christian counseling, asking people to attend an evangelical event, reading Christian books or being in para-church organizations are sinful acts. Churches that misuse or pervert those giftings are in sin. Please don't mistake that statement as judgmental. It is with the utmost grace and love that I say it; I am part of the sickness too.  

Scriptures to read: Eph 4:11-16, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13:13

This is where I took the visual from: http://www.theforgottenways.org/what-is-apest.aspx The book is worth reading if you are into that kind of thing. 

Yet, this isn't about a method.

WE are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.
— Edward M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer (Selected Works on Prayer; Accordance electronic ed. Altamonte Springs: OakTree Software, 1999), n.p.

Giving

If you are in a place of financial abundance and care to give generously (not from guilt or obligation) please consider Jeremy, Uday and Nigel:

Further Reading Suggestions

  • The Gospel of John
  • The Book of Acts
  • Paul’s Letter to the Galatians

Final Thoughts

The goal of the evening was to deepen our connection with Jesus and each other. We (I) have experienced a less-than-full Jesus, faith and church. Honestly, my apathy and disdain for effort has stunted the love I have for Jesus and His Bride. The conviction of that sin is being poured on me in great deluges at this point in my life. Sometimes, meeting in our homes and coffee shops, McDonald’s and dance clubs, it seems like a life of being in Jesus is still way too far away. The burden to call each other into His being is a never ending calling. It is a way of life, a new life. A new creation in Him. Yet, it is exactly the good work that He has prepared for us to do. See Philippians 2:1-16, paying special attention to verse 13. 

Will you join in with me on living a life that is Christ in you?

Mundane and Menial – The Crowded House Network

All of us participate in hundreds of mundane and menial tasks throughout the week. We grocery shop, pump gas, talk to servers, drink beers, and share coffee. It is easy to walk through these moments without care or thought.

I suggest that it is in these moments of menial activity that God is moving and working. While we wait in line for overpriced coffee, God is at work. While we walk the aisles of the grocery store, God is at work. While we fold laundry with our kids, God is at work.

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The Abrahamic Covenant

As we continue to wrestle with aligning ourselves towards what being "sent" looks like for the network, here are some thoughts...

Genesis 12:1-3

12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.[a]
3 I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”[b]


So where is the "land He is showing us" (v1) and who are "all peoples" (v3)? 

"I'm continually brought back to God saying, "I've rescued you, son. You're free to play and let me be your Father. Do you believe that I am good? Go into the places that others are too afraid to go... places that are full of people that have lost hope and become their friends - like I have become yours. Tell them how they can be rescued. Be willing to share your story - not your false self. It will be messy and risky because the enemy has caused them to be a mess and they are risky. But it will be a worthy adventure because the stories will tell of a Gospel that changes everything. Don't go at this alone! Find others that desire this, too! Tell them to risk it all. Invite them to sail with you... workwomen and workmen that can tie lines and love to fish. Ones that jump into the water if you fall out of the boat. Don't fear the sea... for I'm there in the uncertainty. I'll be a lighthouse. So... will you come and die at sea or will you, instead, build your house on sand?" - Thomas Blevins

Read this article when you have a moment:

http://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/03/28/father-greg-boyle-i-thought-i-could-save-gang-members-i-was-wrong

We do not rescue anyone at the margins. But go figure, if we stand at the margins, we are all rescued. No mistake about it.
— Father Greg Boyle
Comment

Thomas Blevins

Thomas oversees the mobilization efforts of Northland Church, helping connect the disconnected and distribute the church through the people of Northland. He has been serving in family ministry since 2004 with the same approach — “Lives are changed through relationships. Each and every people matters. When we’ve been invited and adopted into the family of God it should compel us to invite the unincluded to family everywhere we go!”

With a deep passion to equip, encourage and express the love of Jesus Christ, Thomas believes that every one of us has the capacity to be the church everywhere, everyday. It is because of this Thomas believes we have the unique opportunity to wrap our arms around every person we encounter, not to fix them, but to inspire them to live with one single passion — to attentively and passionately pursue God in every area of their lives.

Thomas is originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and currently resides in the metropolis known as Oviedo. He and his beautiful wife, Tyler, are privileged to be deep in the parenthood trenches of craziness with their children, Emma Grace and Ella Jay.

Central Florida Church Genesis

The future church is cresting on the horizon. We are poised to be used by God to usher a new reformation like the one that happened 500 years ago. That reformation reclaimed a theological understanding that was lost. The Gospel of Grace was re-learned and accepted. 

Now, we need to reclaim not the theology, but the practice. 

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