Our road to the or experience of ganic expression of Christ in a true body of believers has been the most painfulour lives. We started as a Sunday School class in a Southern Baptist church, we had grown to about 60 people. People were drawn to us because we were just flat out real. We didn’t try to put on masks and be “perfect” christians with no problems. We had problems and we were willing to confess them and deal with them. Unfortunatly, it exposed alot of issues in the church that your typical institutional church does NOT want to be faced with or to have to deal with, including some wife and child abuse happening under their noses.
Long story short, we left the institutional church. About half of our group did not leave with us, and turned very strongly against us. At that point we thought we were going to have a para- church ministry to the abused and wounded. We have such a heart for hurting people, but God had different plans for us. After a very public accusation of being a cult and Satan worshipers because we left the Institutional Church, we just dropped to our knees, in complete brokeness and humility, in front of Christ and laid it all at His feet.
We were introduced to Frank Viola’s books at this point and God began to show us who He really was and where He wanted us to go. He wanted to move us into a true Body of Christ with Him as the head. It was a slow and very painful, confusing process. The most spiritually mature person in our group became our “pastor” but we didn’t know anything but the “normal” idea of church leadership so that was a very hard process of figuring out how all that worked and what the role of leadership did play in an organic church. (We are still figuring this all out!)
We have had “wolves” who hated the institutional church but also wanted nothing to do with Jesus. They just wanted “community”. So we had to be cleaned of that. Then we have had legalistic people wanted to turn us back to aspects of the old way, and we had to be cleaned of that!
It has been very, very hard. But through it all we never lost our focus on Christ, although this year while reading Jesus Manifesto, we have a new passion for Christ and who He really is, not just how He died on the cross for us so we can go to Heaven. We also have not lost our focus on being completely real with each other. We contantly confess our deepest sins before each other and Christ. We confront each other in love and walk hand in hand together through the darkest parts of hell, TOGETHER!!