Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Are We Safe?

Two Ways of Doing Missions & Evangelism

The Roman Way: The Roman model for reaching people is:

· Present the Christian message;
· Invite them to decide to believe in Christ and become Christians;
· If they decide positively, welcome them into the church and its fellowship.

The Roman model seems very logical to us because most American evangelicals are scripted by it. We explain the gospel, they accept Christ, we welcome them into the church! Presentation, Decision, Assimilation. What could be more logical than that?

The Celtic Way:

You first establish community with people, or bring them into the fellowship of your community of faith.
Within fellowship, you engage in conversation, ministry, prayer, and worship.
In time, as they discover that they now believe, you invite them to commit.

In the Celtic model people are allowed to belong before they believe. The Celtic model reflects the adage that, for most people, “Christianity is more caught than taught!”

Most people experience the faith through relationships, they
encounter the gospel through a community of faith. Becoming a Christian involves a process that takes time.

The contention has been made that the Celtic way is more effective with postmodern Western populations than the Roman way. The ongoing contagious common life of a congregation that permits people to discover faith for themselves, at their own pace, now appears to be much more influential than traditional forms of evangelism.

We at Wellspring have embraced the Celtic way. In spite of any perceived “dangers” we believe that the Celtic way is the best way to impact people in our postmodern world.

Here is the rub. To be effective with the Celtic way we must be a “safe” place. We must be a people who allow others room to question, doubt, be angry and believe things we don’t. Most people I talk to aren’t interested in talking to a Christian because most Christians refuse to dialogue. So how can we provide a safe place and at the same time share what we believe without being offensive or condescending?

Is Wellspring a safe place? Would you feel comfortable bringing someone with different views to one of our group meetings? Why?

Friday, September 22, 2006


i'm not sure if any of you guys have noticed...but if you read over our wellspring blog (or any blog for that matter) and if you haven't previously logged in and then you try to leave a comment, says this:

"to log in...choose an identity"

i like that. i like that the thing i see right before i log in to our wellspring space is "choose an identity".

that's what you guys are doing. you're allowing me to grow and to figure out just who "juli" is. you're giving me space...

some of you may not know or not have noticed, but i won't be able to be with you guys for the next two weeks. count it...that's 3 thursday and 2 sundays. that's ridiculous. thing is, i agreed to help nanny for some friends. they're in italy and i've got their 3 kiddos.

(yes becky shuman, juli is playing mommy. who would have thought it!)

so i'm sad...and kinda lonely. i read ken's blog today about y'alls discussion group last night and i almost teared up.

i miss my family.

so there. nothing profound...simply wanted to say thanks for always allowing juli to be juli and for letting me fail, and grow, and apologize, and learn, and back-track, and experience.

i love you all. so much.

A Community That Offers Space.

“A community that offers space” - that’s a tag line we like to use at Wellspring to describe ourselves. By it we mean we give people space to question, doubt, search etc. without being in their faces. We give them space to be themselves and journey at their own pace. On most days the line is probably more a vision of our preferred future than it is a reality. Last night at our discussion group however, the vision became reality. Last night there was honesty, openness, transparency – and people listened. One person shared his/her distaste for most things “Christian”. Another person shared his/her desire to change the world while not being overly excited about God. A person shared his/her unquestioned faith and deeply held beliefs. Another person shared passionately an interpretation of a particular scripture passage. Diversity of thought and opinion was clearly evident. There were moments when the air was tense. There were moments when everyone squirmed. There were moments when no one knew what to say.

We’re so tempted to preach. We’re so tempted to try to “fix”. We’re so tempted to get angry, to be offended, to disengage. We’re so tempted to go somewhere where everyone sees things the way we see them. But this is community! This is a community that offers space! I hate it, oh but I love it!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Some questions I wish someone would answer!

Why do we judge people without getting all of the facts first?
Why is it that we are so rigid and narrow minded that if someone disagrees with us they become the enemy?
Why is it more important to us to be right than it is to be loving?
Why is it that we are so afraid to dialogue about anything other than what we already believe? Why is it that we’re so sure of our beliefs that we won’t even consider the fact that we may have gotten some pieces wrong?
Why does it seem that the "gospel" isn't "good news" to many people anymore?
Have we done something to distort or miscommunicate the original message of Jesus?
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
What should a discipled of Jesus be doing?
How do you make a disciple?
Where do you start - if you want to address the injustice in the world?
How do I make the world a better place?
Why is it so hard to really live in community?

I have other questons - but these will do for now.

Monday, September 04, 2006

That rooster crows a thousand times a day.

Thank you Wellspring. I needed some community yesterday. Needed it more than I realised. I felt called to Mainstreet yesterday. I certainly did not feel that I wanted to be in church. I didn't feel blessed and chosen. I didn't feel charitable and giving. I didn't feel at peace and harmony with the universe. I came and needed to listen. And while Ken is explaining the ways we deny Christ. I'm thinking of a thousand ways that my life has gone a diferent direction than what was intended. And while Ken is explaining the ways we deny Christ. I'm trying to analyse my personal issues and how I can get them back on track. And while Ken is explaining the ways we deny Christ. I'm wondering if my hurt and pain will ever go away. And while Ken is explaining the ways we deny Christ. I'm looking at 40 and wondering if this is all I have to look forward to. And while Ken is explaining the ways we deny Christ. I'm wondering if my house is ever going to sell. And while Ken is explaining the ways we deny Christ. ....

That rooster crows a thousand times a day and I cannot even hear it anymore.

I realised this about 5 am this morning. Ken has a big echo and what we may not hear at first, may be heard as it is reflected back.

What a day....

Man oh Man!!! What a day. And to think I should have been camping.
I heard a sermon this morning about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. I've heard the story many times, but it seems that each time I hear it something new comes of it. Maybe I'm just learning to pay attention better. The speaker drew a parrallel with the Emergent Church. Jesus spoke his message to her in a way similar to the way the Emergent church is passing the message to all who will come and listen. Without condemnation and judgement. A message for all who will hear. The woman spoke with Jesus and asked questions of Him without fear of being wrong or not using the "right" language. She was so excited about the message that she forgot the reason she was there and ran off without her bucket to go tell everyone. I know this is probably not WOW material to alot of folks but for me it confirmed again the journey I'm on with Wellspring.
Then to go sing and praise and worship this afternoon.(I think if you want to see what heaven wili be like, come sing and praise and worship at Wellspring) This afternoon I saw again how much God is willing to put up with from me and still call me His own. When Ken asked how we might have denied Christ, it made me think of the many ways I deny Him and sometimes I don't even realize it. Do I deny Him with actions, words or the lack of actions or words. It's comforting to know that as much as I mess up and turn my back on God, His grace covers me.
And finally to top off the day, a TV version of Braveheart. I'm sure there are parallels with the Modern church and the Emergent church in there somewhere but I'm too tired to try and figure them out. What sticks in my head is a quote by William Wallace:"Every man dies, not every man really lives." My prayer is that I would strive to live every day for the Lord and that His glory be the goal. That doesn't always happen. Some would even say I fail at that more often than not. I'm praying that I get better at it.
I sure hate to miss a good weekend camping. And I hate that Baby Girl's asthma is acting up and she's not feeling well(please pray). But I'm sure glad I was able to hear several good words and alot of good worship.