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Christarchy! is on Saturday

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : May 2, 2007

Christarchy! is a monthly learning party where folks from all over the Twin Cities come together to struggle through what it means to follow Jesus’ radical path in their particular context.

I’ve been asked a number of questions about Christarchy…so I thought I’d respond to the most frequently asked questions:

Q: I’m not sure if this group is for me. Can you help me figure out if I should come or not?

A: Hmmm…I’d like to say that this group is for everyone, but it really isn’t. I don’t think this group is about convincing people of anything. Instead, it is for people who are already convinced of the following:

  • Jesus didn’t just invite us to accept his perfect sacrifice for our sins, but also to follow his way of life.
  • That way of life is concerned with bringing liberty and healing and transformation to everyone, but especially (and first) to the poor, the outcasts, and the marginalized.
  • Jesus isn’t just interested in spiritual healing and transformation and liberty, but physical healing, transformation, and liberty.
  • That the church can bring about change directly without relying too much upon governmental actions.

Q: This sounds kinda liberal…isn’t this just a meeting for doing social justice? Where is the Gospel in that?

A: It could write 300 pages in response to this question. But to be as brief as humanly possible, let me just say that I believe that we have EMBODY the Gospel before we can speak it into people’s lives. In other words, we have to show the love of Christ to people as we tell folks about the love of Christ. We are, after all, the embodiment of Christ in the world. And indeed, this does some kinda liberal. But the point of this meeting is NOT to talk about voting or political action steps. The point is for us to encourage and exhort one another to embody the sorts of change we want to see in the Twin Cities. The point is for us to experience God together and feel sent to the dark places, the broken places, the needy places of our neighborhoods (whether urban or suburban).

Q: Why are you starting a monthly meeting for this Mark? Why not just invite people to your church? You guys talk about this stuff all the time.

A: Here’s the deal. Missio Dei (our church) is really focused on the West Bank neighborhood. If we invite folks that are called to other areas to our church, then we’re not helping them embody the Gospel in their own neighborhood. And so, putting together a sort of “learning party” like Christarchy allows us to not only share the stuff we’ve learned with others, but also to hear and learn from what other folks in the Twin Cities are doing. I’m not interested in growing Missio Dei. I’m interested in encouraging and being encouraged. I’m interested in seeing people take radical steps in the places God has sent them.

Q: What are we going to actually do at the first meeting?

A: I don’t have much of an agenda. For the first meeting, I’ll probably invite everyone into a few minutes of prayer and read a passage of Scripture to get the juices flowing. But for the most part, most of what will happen will be a group of people each talking about where they’re from and why they’re at the meeting. We’ll allow people to connect with one another, have some open-ended discussion on what it means to follow Jesus in the Twin Cities, and talk about what this group needs to be…or even if this group is needed at all.

Q: Well, what made you think of starting Christarchy?

A: I started it because I meet people all the time who are tired of spectator Christianity, but feel alone in trying to live out the stuff they see Jesus doing in the Gospels.

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If you’re in the area Saturday night, drop by. It should be good. More information here.

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