Floyd McClung is the great modern day church planter, missioner and apostle. Tracy picked up his book, ‘You see bones, I see an Army’ last week in Wesley Owen. His teaching on the Father Heart of God has started a Jesus revolution in the lives of many, he has trailblazed churches across the world. Now nearing the age where one would normally expect to retire, McClung has recently moved to South Africa to help explode redemptive communites through the entire nation, beginning with the poor. Someone give that man a set of eppaulettes! You just get the impression that this guy has lived out this writing instead of just waxing lyrical about it like many books seem to do when it comes to mission.
His assertion is that the Jesus revolution will come around through five key elements:
1) Simple church – small networks of people seeking to encounter and share Jesus where they are, both among their networks but reaching out to those who are not in their immediate network.
2) Courageous Leadership – those daring to break the church out of the existing mould, destructing the church and setting it free. Strong word, destructing. Its painful, messy and rarely easy in a long established setting of any kind. Just in case any Wickers are reading….no, its not my plan…rest easy! But then, it comes down to measuring how effective we can be in the form we currently are and assessing if that will do the job of winning the lost.
3) Focussed Obedience (sounds a bit like covenant) – about remaining faithful amid distraction and staying the course. Timely. He suggests that spiritual shallowness, plateauing, negative inner vows (‘I will never…’), unclear vision, the myth of financial security, frantic pace of life and conventional churchianity will be the main challenges to obedience.
4) Apostolic Passion – funnily, Captain Stephen Court was talking about apostolic passion over at armybarmy.com this week. Worth a look. Here, McClung absolutely suggests covenant and harnessing our passions into exploding Christianity wherever it can be exploded.
5) Making Disciples – that is, disciples who will be disciples and not just church-goers…the only way to sustain the Jesus revolution.
Classic quote from the opening chapter:
“Without knowing it they [China, India, Central Asia, and South America] are breaking out of small definitions [of church] the rest of us in the West hold dear. The ‘rest’ have a message for the West: church is not an institution but an army.”
Fantastic. The rest of the church want to be an army and The Army wants to be a church. The thing is that McClung could almost be describing the call and pattern of the early, hopefully modern, Salvation Army. We’ve got the opportunity to cause a Jesus breakout in so many places if we’d only dare.
In my own life I’m fundamentally challenged about how this is happening (or not) in my part of the world…and how I, as an officer respond to that need. God gives us a bucket full and over-flowing of grace to comprehend these things.
If you haven’t already sold your bed to buy my other book recommendations, this is one to sell your bed for.
‘You see bones, I see and army’ by Floyd McClung. I’ve only just skim read it, but its well worth diving into!