One thing that seems to keep a church from living on mission with God and from forming missional impulses is a lack of shared imagination. When I say “shared imagination” I mean a shared way of envisioning what life and society can look like when Jesus is Lord of all. When shared imagination is lacking, the Church tightens her grip on what she comfortably knows, postures her heart toward self-survival, and remains stagnant. Stagnancy always leads to death. But when a different way of being and doing life in society is imagined and shared by a community of gospel-formed people, a movement stirs and new life is created over and over again.
Institutions preserve culture. Movements create it. The gospel of King Jesus intends to create a movement in His people that through them creates a different kind of culture, one that seeks to be actively present in society in redemptive and restorative ways. This kind of community is capable of bearing witness to the alternative world God proposes to us in the Scriptures through the work of King Jesus.
In spite of what the picture suggests I have great hope for the Church. The same Holy Spirit who has worked in imperfect people for 2000 years still works in imperfect people. And He still cultivates movements.
Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience.
Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas.
Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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Bro, Very thought provoking; something to focus on as I begin my day. Thanks for sending it. Breaux
Great article! What I am finding lately is that some geographic locations are more open and conducive to movements than others. Some are so fearful of progress and change that they cling to their comfortable institutions.