lesson 6: be open-handed…

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : November 17, 2006

One of the things we’ve done right is to be an open-handed community. We don’t try hard to “keep” people–if someone is considering being a part of a different community, we want to help them discern through it without assuming that they should stay. We also try to invite folks from other churches to be a part of the things we do. Being territorial is petty and causes stress. Small churches always run the risk of fighting for each member. Don’t. Let people be free to stay or go. Be about the business of helping people discern how they are to be involved instead of putting pressure on them.

We’ve also been intentional in building relationships with organizations. Missio Dei is a part of the Baptist General Conference. We’re also seeking a dual affiliation with the Mennonite Church USA. In addition, we’re partnering with InterVarsity to do campus ministry. To some folks, this seems a bit much. But it keeps us from becoming insular, stagnant, and self-absorbed. It helps us to realize that our business is to cultivate a movement of disciples on the West Bank. What their affiliation is is irrelevant. Denominationalism is almost dead. Instead, we need to see groups as “theological streams.” It is healthy to drink from multiple streams.

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