I think I echo the sentiments of the majority when I say I feel so fortunate to be part of a fellowship that is open to discussing these challenges in such an open forum and with great candor. I think that is what makes threeonesix fellowship such a unique, special and electrifying group to worship with, to examine scripture together, and to find encouragement to live out the action of God in bringing about reconciliation and transformation in a very real way.
The very nature of this discussion is itself an invitation to think differently about everything we’ve ever known to be the way to “do” church. Even things that other churches are successfully doing right now are likely not the things that we need to do if we are re-imagining, re(or de-)constructing the structural model of organized religion that we’ve all grown up with. From the expectations we place on our Pastors, the staff we expect to hire, the spaces we choose to worship in and the missions we choose to involve ourselves in… everything at least deserves to be examined, prodded and tested before we discredit what could be the next movement of God in the American Christian Church, or maybe even around the world.
Within our fellowship right now are individuals possessing a wealth of talents, passions and unknown richness. Harry would be a remarkable discussion group leader. Tony Keith also. Jarred has started grooving right along with the band, but the talent you’ve seen from him is only a shaving of the fullness of what God has developed within him. Angie Yawn and Cindy Richards both have expressed interest in sharing their passions for music and you will see (and hear) more from them in coming weeks I hope. And these are only a few. Each one of us has a contribution to make, and there are no classifications. One is not spiritual and another financial. Everything is spiritual. It’s all connected. And I’ll bet we have much to discover about one another if we only take the time to inquire. What are your passions? In what areas do you excel that most people may not even realize?
For me, I love to teach. It started out with music and grew into an awareness of a gift God has given. I was called to ministry when I was thirteen. I’ve been active in ministry since I was eighteen, travelled the US with a ministry team for a few years, attended bible college studying Theology and Pastoral Ministry and have been in vocational ministry for the past ten years this Thanksgiving. Even when I tried to get out of ministry because I was sick of what “church” had come to mean, I could not ignore the passion to pursue the thing that burns in my bones: retelling the story of God in ways that might cause someone to want to hear more. That’s why this fellowship is so important to me. This is not church-as-usual. Many places tout their unique, modern atmosphere for contemporary worship, but threeonesix fellowship is so much more than that because it isn’t a place. It’s all of us, telling our stories of redemption and reconciliation in a way that incites curiosity, intrigue and suspicion. It’s open examination, doubts and hopes. It’s the richness that is built upon relationships, giving and taking like the ocean and the shoreline.
There was a time when Paul was imprisoned writing to the Philippians, reflecting on his relationship with them and their support of his ministry and he tells them, “No one shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving except for you.” How much did he miss from other churches because they held out? How much could they have gained in their association with such a remarkable apostle? We are going to places probably none of us has ever been, but we are going together and we are inviting others to join us along the way.