Structure is Meant to Serve the Relationship

Structure is Meant to Serve the Relationship

Original Post: May 15th, 2019

Greetings sweet family! I love what God is doing in and through us in this season!
We’ve been embracing the change and shift in the spirit with excitement and grace. I’m so blessed by the willingness and hunger I see in all of you to go where He leads us in these days.

Recently I was reading the story in Mark 2:23-27 where Jesus and His disciples are walking through a field of wheat. It was the sabbath day. The disciples were hungry but had no food to eat so they plucked some of the wheat and ate it. Religious leaders saw this happen and were angry that the disciples had plucked wheat because they had “worked” on the sabbath day. Jesus reminds them of the time that David and his men ate the sacred temple bread that only the priests were allowed to eat. They were desperate for food and there was food right in front of them. It was not God’s heart that the men would starve with food right in front of them. He would rather they eat the sacred bread above observing the practices and rules that had been established. In reminding the Pharisees of this example, Jesus is saying that they have taken to keeping rules and structures above understanding and living the purpose behind the rule. Jesus said to the ‘Pharisees, “The Sabbath was made for the people, not the people for the sabbath.” Jesus’ pointed out His purposes: bread is for eating, and sabbath is for resting. If the rules required for the people don’t allow for the heart of God to freely flow then they aren’t serving their purpose.

 Through this scripture the Lord began to speak to me concerning our current structures and constructs that we have. Many of these things He spoke to me about are things that we as the church have been comfortable with. For some of us, maybe we have been living rules above intention our whole lifetime. He said to me, “ In the same way the Sabbath was created to give people rest and not become a law, and the sacred bread in the temple was meant to be eaten and bring nourishment... the structures and systems created are meant to serve the spirit of that which the structure or system is supporting, not the other way around. “

An example of this could be our building facility. We love this place and are thankful for it! We believe that it is a resource and structure that God HAS GIVEN us to fulfill His mission in and through us! However, if the building were to become the focal point of all our time, energy, and resource, rather than for the actual ministry and equipping that happen within and as a result of the building, then we would have given the structure more importance than the spirit of what the structure is supporting. This is just one example that is very easy to relate this conversation to. However, In these days Holy Spirit is asking us to be looking at every structure that we have at JPC and really look at them with eyes and hearts willing to be challenged, changed, and redirected, if needed.
Why am I sharing this with all of you? Because we are in a season where God is inviting us to look at structures within our community and look at each of them and as this question with Him. “Are these structures currently serving and supporting the spirit and relationship they were created for? Or have we gotten in the habit of asking the spirit to fit within the context our structures that we grown accustom to?” Structure must always serve the Spirit. Just like a wineskin was created to hold wine.  You can create a great wine bottle and a beautiful label and packaging, but if the wine is missing or it’s a bitter wine then the beautifully designed wine bottle is missing the point now isn’t it?  

In the same way our vision (vision = the way we accomplish mission and how we build) must serve our overall mission (Mission = why we do what we do and why we exist)
In our case, as a church family, we want our mission to be God’s mission and
our vision and structures to support what God’s heart wants for our community. We should not try to fit His mission into our vision and structure. That’s more like the tail wagging the dog. We need to look at our structures and vision and make sure that it actually supports the mission of Jesus and the mission & call He has spoken over us. We then build around that and create structures to support that!
Since January, our community has been really asking the Lord to highlight the structures that serve His mission and to reveal any structures that we’ve built that don’t serve His mission so we can remove them. In this process said over and over, ”Abide in Me. All fruitfulness flows from that place of abiding in the vine... (John 15). “ If we will always KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING (Jesus, His presence, His Mission and purpose fulfilled through us) we will do well.

In that place of abiding, Holy Spirit has really highlighted Worship, Intercession and
Discipleship as major structures that He wants us to strengthen and increase support towards. These areas really serve the spirit of our community and His mission within us right now, so we are going after those!

Starting in April we launched what we are calling “4th Friday Worship & Encounter Night.” We will meet every fourth Friday of the month just to worship and encounter the Lord.

We’ve also just launched an incredible strategy for strengthening prayer and intercession in our community. (You can find out more about this at the info table or by getting connected to the McKain sisters)

We are also getting ready to launch more pathways to train and equip
disciples who will disciple.
This is the year of His Presence. This is the year of abiding in the vine. This is the time to step into Encountering God, being transformed by Him, and advancing the kingdom all out of intimacy and connection with Holy Spirit like never before.

~Emily Tedrow