Just to give you a quick heads-up, I will be attending the Network conference in Burlington, Ontario on 22nd-23rd November (details here). This time, it’ll be as a participant, not as a blogger – though I will try to let you know what is happening when I have time to do so and as discretion allows.
This conference, as the link above outlines, is not going to be another talking shop – this is the real deal. The lifeboat is being launched. If you want to know where I stand at this time, well, this should tell you enough:
I saw a mid sized tree (or possibly a large bush) with only bare brown branches. The tree was dead, and represented to me the apostate church. Springing from the same ground, a little to one side, was a strong shoot, green and sprouting. This represented the new church that is being brought forth to life. I saw the potential that this shoot had, to become a strong vibrant tree, full of flowers and fruit.
This acted as a reinforcement of my current feeling that God is dividing the Church – not just letting it be divided, but actively making it happen, indeed using those with a liberal agenda to His purposes. The dead tree is ‘ichabod’ – the Glory has departed. The structure is still there, and indeed may take some time to decay, but the Glory is there no more. I am left with the impression that investing any more time in this structure is futile, a waste of time. Rather, we should be considering the growth of what God is raising up. It has a real potential, but it’s still potential now, we need to be obedient in being grown. Don’t concentrate on the birth pains, concentrate on what is being born!
UPDATE: I wanted to include a comment and my reply from over at the AEC blog – as I think this is crucial to our understanding of this time:
I think you are right. But I wonder why I see so many people around me so excited, and I am still so heartbroken and sad.
I think you are entirely right Mrs Falstaff. When I attended an Essentials conference a couple of years ago I was struck with a sense of deep sorrow and need for repentance – knowing that the problem wasn’t ‘them’ – it was us.
Indeed, that it was so important to enter into what God is preparing with that understanding and attitude, not thinking that we were somehow the righteous, and leaving in that self-righteousness to what ‘we’ were making.
Rather to understand that we dropped the ball – both corporately and individually, and come to the Lord in repentance , genuine humility and sorrow – Lord we messed up, please forgive and restore us.
If we don’t enter into the Lords plan with that heart, then we’ll just bring the mess and rubbish we think we are leaving behind with us.
Lord, have mercy!