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Musings on “The Gathering” – Part 2

Yesterday I posted the 1st of my thoughts concerning "The Gathering at UNCP" (check it out here 1st). These are my thoughts, prayers and overall foundation for what this new ministry is all about. Yesterday I shared:
  • The Role of the Gathering in relation to UNCP / Pembroke
  • One Purpose is to be a preparer of spiritual soil for the future harvest
  • To be a Foundation Builder for the future church

Part 2: The Gathering will be a New Paradigm/Teacher

Most of us resist change. In our desire to remain holy and separate from the world it is easy to forsake anything which is different from what we're used to. Another problem is exposure and the fact that many in the church have little knowledge about technology, methods and its usage to reach out to people for Jesus. "The Gathering" will use relevant methods to communicate the gospel to a generation that has no ties to the methodology of the 1950's model of church that most of our bodies still represent.
As "The Gathering" attempts to reach those that are still unreached by the true gospel message, I believe that it will show many, from the local church, who are unfamiliar with modern forms of expression another way to do church. As they watch, observe, listen and participate they will be challenged to view what is happening in the light of the scriptures, challenging themselves in what the bible says about worship and culture, hopefully understanding how they can use this expression in the context of their local bodies. It is my hope that "The Gathering" challenges the church in the ways that we communicate who Jesus is to people who don't yet know Him.
The Gathering is Not a Church
No, "The Gathering" is not a church and I am not the pastor. I feel the calling and believe God has shown me that Lumberton is my specific mission field. I believe that the reason that I feel called to do this is that God will use what He has placed in me as a spark to do what He wills on the campus that I too once walked. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that He would bring me back in this context.
So, though it isn't a church, it is a gathering of the church and my prayer is that it will be a vehicle by which God can inspire the church, open doors for the church and inspire the planting of New Breed Churches in our region. I also pray that God will use it to embolden the church and prepare the church to live out it's God-breathed purpose:
The Bride of Christ is to be the earthly body of Jesus Christ – extending His hands in His Name and making known His love and sacrifice the He might draw all men to Himself.

I mentioned this the other day:

Our churches are struggling with reaching this generation. Statistics (LifeWay research) show the dropout rate of baptist 18-22 year olds is 70% (!!!!). These aren't all 18-22 year olds – these are the ones who are currently attending our churches. Thom Rainer, CEO of LifeWay, states that this is because "church is not essential to them.".  It's obvious that we are not "connecting" this generation and their college years are enormously foundational in the direction of the remainder of their lives.

None of us is doing a great job reaching 18-22 year olds (often college students) – we want to see that changed! "The Gathering" is just my little contribution to the overall emphasis – Who is with me?!?

Got something to say? Go for it!