It was good to meet some church leaders from the area and begin to build some relationships with them. They all seem like a good bunch and it's going to be good to meet up with them to chew stuff over with them.
We were thinking about whether as church leaders we are very good to interpreting the 'signs of the times' or whether things go past us and we miss what is happening. We looked at Matthew 16 when Jesus is having a go at the religious leaders and how they know what's happening when the sky is red but are clueless with the signs of the times; in other words, they were completely missing who Jesus is.
Discussion was about whether we miss what is going on in our churches and what God is doing. The moment passes and we are left confused as to why a certain situation as happened.
I threw in that I often think that churches miss the signs of the times in regard to our culture and society. Often there is a movement in our society, something that is happening that the church could well have a voice into or be a part of in order that we could share the Gospel in radical ways, yet we miss it. Indeed, I think there are often opportunities within our culture that God is presenting the church, yet we miss it because we are too busy looking inwardly at what is happening amongst the people who make up our Sunday morning gatherings.
Indeed, if the church were much more outward looking and thought radially and creatively about mission, then not only could we interpret the signs of the times well and speak the Gospel into those times, we could be prophetic in our actions and words declaring the Gospel ahead of where the culture is at rather than what typically happens of being 5 years behind where the culture is at.
We could be powerfully prophetically symbolic in how we share the Gospel.
I believe God is working in amazing ways from within our communities outside of the church and is calling us to get stuck in with Him.
I have been walking and praying around the area everyday listening to God and the community. I will keep doing this until I can discern what the signs of the times are in order that we might be able to be powerfully prophetically symbolic in how we share the Gospel. With no church I have the freedom to do this, yet I hope as the church grows (God willing!) we will always be listening and praying, acting and speaking in ways that can faithfully interpret the signs of the times. My hope is that all of us will be a little less clueless about who Jesus is and what He is doing in our communities.