June 18, 2022
Pastor Dave Peterson
Northland Assembly Church
Recently I have been asked what I mean when I say "Church Re-Imagined." That is a very legitimate question and it can be taken in many different ways.
I would like to take this time and try to explain my heart and vision for Church Re-Imagined.
First of all Church Re-Imagined is not an indictment of how we used to do things. It is also not an endorsement of one worship style over another. It is definitely not saying to forget church history.
So let me share a piece of scripture with you. Luke chapter 5 verse 38 in the New Living Translation says "New wine must be stored in new wineskins." When we look closely and truly study this verse we find that the word NEW is different in the original Greek both times it is used. The first NEW is more akin to what we would call FRESH while the second NEW is defined as something never before done or created.
So as I read the entire passage on Jesus discussing new wine and new wineskins, we see Jesus telling us that if we want a fresh thing we have to put it in an untouched, brand new thing. Yet today we hear people and churches cry out to God for Him to do a new thing in their lives, their families, and in their community but we are not willing to sacrifice our old and provide God a new vessel to pour into.
That is the foundation of Church Re-Imagined. It never says the previous things are or were bad. It says NEW needs NEW.
We are truly in a special position. The church I pastor has a long rich history that spans many different traditions each one building on the foundation of the previous. From the Mennonites in 1904 to today's unique blend of Southern Baptist and Assemblies of God. Along the way the Gospel Mission movement, Covenant movement, and Evangelical Free church have all contributed to the church I pastor today.
What a blessing it is for me to look out on the congregation and see people who were here during the Gospel Mission days. I can see others who were here during the Evangelical Free days and some who came as part of the SBC plant. Sitting next to them are the fresh faces of those who are desiring a Pentecostal experience found among AG congregations. All of them here in one accord worshiping God together celebrating the combined heritage but with a willingness to do a new thing so that they can receive what God has for them today.
The understanding that unifies each of them is knowing that if we want God to do something new, He will require something new from us.
Church Re-Imagined asks what new thing can we do to further the kingdom. Church Re-Imagined recognizes that we do not have to operate outside the box, because faith removes the box completely. Church Re-Imagined asks why can't we have good coffee in church and still preach the Gospel.
Church Re-Imagined asks why can't we have comfortable seating and still teach sanctification. Church Re-Imagined understands that "outside the box evangelism" does not have to be the opposite of holiness.
Church Re-Imagined also understands that not everyone will get it. Sometimes things will be misunderstood and sometimes feelings can be hurt. Thankfully Church Re-Imagined also fully understands that God's grace is sufficient to bridge the gaps in our understanding.
The big question now would be this: Are you asking God to do something new in your life? I know I am. If your answer is yes then I invite you to join with us on this journey of Church Re-Imagined and try something new then together let's not just see but let's experience all the NEW God has in store for us, our families, and our community.
SEE YA SUNDAY, THE COFFEE WILL BE HOT AND READY.