A new adventure is beginning in East Seminole County in Central Florida. In recent years there is a restlessness for something different, a new wineskin that can reach people who either are not attracted to a traditional church or have been turned off by it. The Abbey Mission is Church Done Different.
Church is not a place where you go it is who we are. The church in the book of Acts was a missional community doing life together with a purpose to see His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
The institutional church in the West and specifically in the United States of America has been in decline for a few decades. There are places of life and light but they are more the exception than the rule. People have poured resources and creativity into current models for church. But the results have not been stellar. I say this as being one of those people. In some ways the church institution has become an old wineskin unable to hold the New Wine of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins Mark 2:22
A wineskin is a shape or form, a structure, a vessel to share the life found only in Christ. If there is to be a spiritual awakening in our day, we need a new wineskin, something beyond a Sunday morning expression of church. Perhaps we need to return to the early church model where missional communities were formed. People could hear the Good News of God in the marketplace, where they lived. It was much more than a Sunday morning event This happened everyday, AND THE CHURCH GREW! The Book of Acts tells the story!
We need a Christ-Filled missional presence in the marketplace and community Monday to Saturday. The church witnessed this in the Middle Ages as Abbeys were formed and became centers for learning, commerce, faith formation, social justice and caring for the needy. The Abbey was a place of life being done together with a purpose. We need a modern day Abbey!
Always and Everywhere
This line comes from the ancient worship of the church. It captures this idea of how we are to live. Always and Everywhere; every moment in every place filled with the presence of Christ and living a blessed kingdom life with others. Our culture is broken in so many ways, there is pain, suffering, darkness expressing itself constantly. We’ve traded the reality of connection and relationship in for a virtual, social media world. Jesus promised life and to live life abundantly. We can walk in that abundance with Christ Jesus and each other.