Apr15SunApril 15, 2018
How could the Way of Jesus radically change a small-town church? It is happening right now in an EMCC church in Bowden AB.
My own transformation began when I was invited to attend a Way of Jesus training event in Kitchener, ON. Even before arriving, I was beginning to change internally through daily meditation on the seven markers which began to shape my language and my thoughts.
About the time I started my journey in the Way of Jesus, I was led to bring a fresh vision for our church, captured in the phrase KNOW Jesus, LOVE the Family and BLESS Others. On hearing the phrase, my wife exclaimed “That’s the Way of Jesus!” I realized then, that each of the seven markers was found in this new vision statement. Our church leadership immediately embraced the statement, confirming to me that the change was being led by Jesus.
Now our church culture is changing as we have two groups learning the Way of Jesus. After seeing the changes in me, my wife, Charity, took some training in the Way of Jesus and brought what she was learning back to her ladies Bible study, and also to our own kids. Currently, eight ladies are engaged in the journey with her, while I lead five men in a men’s group.
Now our church culture is changing as we have two groups learning the Way of Jesus.
It’s exciting to hear the stories from people engaged in this journey. A seasoned Christian was skeptical about the Way of Jesus, thinking it was too simple and better suited for new believers. However, after journeying a few weeks in it, he has changed his opinion and is finding it very valuable. In our men’s group, it seems that every week the Spirit uses one of the seven markers of the Way of Jesus to direct individuals in the way they need to go.
As we mediate on the markers and on our new mission statement, our language is changing. The words journey, Holy Spirit, bless, church family and Jesus are becoming part of the new common language and it is transforming people. One woman, for example, who was struggling to be involved in evangelism has embraced the language of blessing others. “I can do that,” she says. She now feels empowered to share Jesus by blessing others and inviting them to follow Him.
An important part of the Way of Jesus is participating in a community of Jesus followers. Over the past 6 months, we have witnessed the culture of our church shift from a group of friends into a church family. More people are attending events and staying for potlucks.
We are excited to be a community of followers of Jesus on mission to the world.
Jesus is using the Way of Jesus to change a small-town church. I know we are just tasting the first-fruits of this journey which I expect will continue to change our church and our town for Jesus.
Pastor Jason Metcalfe
Pastor, Bowden EMC