Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The New Apostolic Era

Randy Ferebee presenting at Honey Creek.

Since Sunday evening, I have been at Honey Creek for the Spring Clergy Conference of the Diocese of Georgia. Our main presenter has been the Rev. Randy Ferebee of Epiphany Institute. I know Randy through a clergy group I take part in and have enjoyed his presentation this week. He's been talking about three great eras in Christianity:

  • The Apostolic Era when Christianity was surrounded by a culture hostile to the Gospel.
  • The Christendom Era, when Christians predominantly lived in a culture that was all Christian
  • The New Apostolic Era, which is his term for the present age in which Christianity can no longer be assumed and while the culture (particularly in Georgia) is not hostile to the faith, it is increasingly indifferent.
Randy has been working to show that, this time in which we can no longer assume that Sunday morning is reserved for church has much in common with the earliest days of Christianity. Following Bishop Mark Dyer, he observed that "The dominant spirituality today is consumerism." In this climate, the mission field is all around us. The way to engage in this New Apostolic Era is not to capitulate to the culture, but to reach out to our communities in mission.

The conference has not been about offering some silver bullet solution as sometimes found at conferences. I'm glad. If the answers churches need were found in conferences, we would have dispensed with all our problems long ago.

Instead, Randy has been offering various tools (including appreciative inquiry and asset mapping). The purpose of these tools is to enable a church to better serve the community around it and so live into the mission of the church. In this way, every church can be a blessing to its community. This is being like the Sea of Galilee (which has both water coming in and flowing out) than like the Dead Sea (which has input, but no water flowing out of it). Randy says rightly that every church has what it needs to be the Body of Christ in its place. Not all churches will have the same gifts and abilities, but all can be faithful. To find out more, look at the resources page at

This morning, I will be the presenter, picking up where Randy left off. We'll be looking at how to make the learnings real in our congregations.


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home