I can't believe that it has been TWO YEARS since the previous episode of Encouraging Others Through Christ. With that said, I knew that I would only create new episodes of this podcast as The Spirit led me to do so.
For the past three years, I've been on an amazing journey as God has helped me navigate my way through a life free from obligation, conformity and condemnation. Today's podcast is simply the very first time I've felt led to create a new episode of EOTC. Moving forward, it is still my plan to only publish new episodes as I feel led to do so. However, I have a suspicion that future episodes will be just around the corner as I do feel The Spirit stirring something up inside of me as it relates to this particular podcast.
Finding Church With Wayne Jacobsen
In this episode, I'm very excited to tell you that I am, once again, joined by my great friend, Wayne Jacobsen. This time around, Wayne and I had the opportunity to meet face to face for the first time. When I saw that Wayne was visiting Kentucky, I had reached out to him to invite him to stop by my place and maybe even record a podcast episode in my new studio and he graciously accepted my invitation. Wayne and I took this opportunity to discuss his new book, “Finding Church” that will be released on October 15th.
I have read many books that have promised a better way of “being the Church” or living the life of the Church that more closely resembles what we read about in the New Testament. For many years, I was heavily involved in the cell church movement. Though, admittedly, I had attempted to establish cell groups within a traditional congregational setting. I will not go into details about the various initial successes and then ultimate failures of each of these attempts.
Later, I had read a book called “Simple Church” by Thom. S. Rainer and Eric Geiger. I'll never forget how excited I was when I read that book. It seemed to have all the answers for a more relational approach to living life with others in a congregational setting.
Stephanie and I immediately set out to find a “Simple Church.” We had found one that pretty much matched up with everything written in that book. In fact, I had shared this book with the pastor and he got copies for the entire staff of the congregation. They went on a leadership retreat and pretty much restructured their approach to match what was prescribed in the Simple Church book.
Things were great for the first twelve to eighteen months. However, over time, this simple church wasn't so simple any more. More and more structure was added, more and more obligations were thrust upon the volunteers and, before too long, the congregation ended up just like every other traditional congregation that we had been a part of.
Since September 2011, Stephanie and I have been living our life of faith outside the confines of any local congregation. Episodes of this podcast, starting with episode 121, have documented much of the early part of this journey.
I believe that the conversation that Wayne and I had in this episode will help fill you in on some of the things that we have discovered about our relationship with Christ and with others over the past three years. So much of my growth had been facilitated by the wonderful things that Wayne has shared on his podcast called “The God Journey.”
Wayne had shared and advance copy of his new book with me and I could hardly put it down. This book sheds the light on the true Church that Jesus has been building these past two thousand years. Finding Church does address much of what the life of the Church could and does look like outside of the traditional, institutional or congregational setting. However, this book does not prescribe that leaving the congregational setting is the answer. Instead, it's intent is to open the dialog among all followers of Christ as to what it would take for us all to fulfill His prayer that we may all be one.
I hope that you enjoy this episode and that you will consider reading this book once it becomes available on October 15th.
Of course, I can't pass up this opportunity to plug Wayne's book, “So You Don't Want To Go To Church.” Those who have been following my journey know just how much of an impact that this story had on my journey.
Here are some important links that I think you should know about:
– God Journey Podcast – Website | Podcast
– LifeStream Blog – Website
– The Jesus Lens – Website
– So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore – Amazon
– He Loves Me – Learning to Live in the Father's Affection – Amazon