Friday, December 24, 2010

Organic Church

Hello Everyone!

Imagine a church were every member was functioning, where the body was lead by Christ, where buildings and building campaigns were not on the agenda, and where all spiritual gifts were being used. That is Organic Church. Over the past few years we have been reading books by the author Frank Viola. He and his colleagues coined the term Organic Church to represent a form of church very different to the average church and even from the mainstream house church. Frank Viola and a few others travel around the country and plant these churches. We had the opportunity to visit one for 10 days in Gainesville, FL. We also took time to visit supporters and family. Most of the people in the church had moved to Gainesville just to be a part of it and thus they were serious about doing church this way and serious about Christ. We were overwhelmed with their hospitality as they invited us over for meals and alike. Having read Reimagining Church, we had an idea of what to expect in their coorporate meetings. They take the priesthood of all believers very literally and there is no functioning pastor or worship leader. Christ is the head. Worship is spontaneous and lead by the body and so is the teaching. We were very refreshed to be a part of something truly organic in nature and something that felt very much like what we imagine the New Testament church being. We are thankful we had the opporunity to visit not only the church, but also with Frank Viola. Our desire is to plant an Organic Church/New Monastic Community. While in the States we might even take more time in Gainesville because we were told we really didn't even begin to get a taste of what the church life is like. Plus, how are we going to plant something that we have never experienced? The thing that impacted us the most was the obvious sense of community among the people of the church. There are about 40 or so people and they love each other deeply. They fellowship during the week and seem to be very close. It is an attractive community because the members love one another and that love draws you in. Isn't that how church is supposed to be? Once you experience church like this you don't want to have it any other way.

Thanks for your prayers and support in the New Year!

We wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May Christ's birth be real to you today and always!

Feliz Navidad,
Josh and Jennifer

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Getting Back to Mexico

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent ours in Wilmore with a lot of family. One day was spent with the Reynolds and next with the Seitz and Traina clan. Needless to say we had our share of turkey.

We wanted to give you a ministry update so that you all know how to pray this holiday season.

Josh and I are eager to get back to Mexico, but after much prayer we have decided to wait to go back full-time until we can have a team of two other families, or a few singles who want to join us in our church planting endevours. What does this mean? It means that while we are raising support we are also raising up a team. We need both things to happen before we can return as full-time missionaries. In the meantime we are involved and will be participating with our mission agency in taking short-term teams to Latin America and Mexico, being involved in local hispanic ministry, learning about house church planting, and, of course, raising support and now a team to go back with us.

We realized that in order to be healthy on the field we really need a ministry team that is a little larger than ourselves or one other couple. Would you please pray that God would bring in 100% of our monthly support needs and that he would raise up several friends who want to commit to church planting in León, Mexico. After talking to a friend in Mexico today we were reminded how much we are needed there. Please pray that we can get back soon. We will be taking a trip to Mexico in January, but in order to go and stay we still need our support and team.

Can you participate with us and help us get back to Mexico? Here are some things you can do...

You could make a special end of the year donation to our ministry.

You could commit to supporting us at $15, $25, or $50 a month.

You could go on a short-term trip to Mexico (contact us about how).

You could contact us about speaking with your small group or at your church.

You could even join our team.

And last but not least, you can pray with us and help us reach Mexico for Christ!