So I’m in Maine. I’ve been here for about 5 hours. I got here at 3 today and Tim, his wife Pam, and his two children Talia age four and Justin age 2 came to pick me up. They may be two of the cutest little kids I have ever met. They are ridiculously rambunctious and really funny. Tonight at dinner Justin brought his bib over to me and I thought that he wanted me to help him put it on him, but what he really wanted was for me to wear it. Good stuff! Also we watched one of their movies entitle Tractor Adventures tonight before they went to bed. Needless to say I think I’m in for a great time with them.
I already feel like I’m drinking from a fire hose. Since I have arrived I have hardly stopped discussing the Church and church plant stuff with Tim, accept of course to play tractors with Justin. Tim seems to be a great dude and it’s been really interesting to question him about how they do church up here. It’s extremely different from the way Evangelicals normally do church, but it seems very appealing. It’s very small group oriented and places a lot of responsibility on the lay people. The small group has essentially become the church. I see a lot of value in this because it keeps families together to learn together and it provides more opportunities for people to use their gifts. For instance, Tim was explaining that one of their church plants experienced some interpersonal problems and instead of sending in the Pastor or elder board to fix the problem, he instructed the leaders of that particular group on how to handle the problem and after three weeks of walking this person through the steps they were welcoming them back into the body. Tim explained that instead of the Pastors acting out a Matthew 18, the body was able to do that and now they are stronger because of it. I have a lot more I could write but I’m going to wait until I actually seem this system in action. I have a lot of ideas about what I think is going on, but I think it’s best to actually see how they are doing things before I comment on it any further.
Suffice it all to say that it has been fun and enlightening experience so far. Tim and his family are great and I’m way excited to spend the week with them. God is doing sweet things up here and I can feel God stirring a passion in my heart for the Church as I talk about it with Tim. Pray that I can soak up everything and retain all that I’m learning.