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.
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 www.epiphanyinstitute.org.
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.