In an ancient story a special group of people immigrated to a fruitful land to escape the widespread famine. They were happy there and their numbers multiplied. But in time things changed. The once favored people soon lost their special status. They became slaves and their cries were heard in heaven.
A deliverer was sent to them. He led them across the holy river into the desert where they met their God and received their new identity. In the desert there were mountains to be climbed and valleys in which dying occurred. After considerable preparation, they were ready to cross the second holy river to enter the land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey.
This is the coached journey of renewed identity that some churches also experience. These churches remember fondly the fruitfulness in their land of the past. They then cross the first holy river into the desert where, through prayer and holy conversation, they climb the jagged mountains to discover renewed vision. They cross deep valleys where some things need to die. They follow the presence of God through the second holy river, the river of dedication, where they pledge to faithfully live into their newly (re)discovered identity in Christ.
With a sense of anticipation buoyed by nervous hope, they advance into the land of promise. And there they find a few surprises…
I hope you’ll join me for a webinar on March 21 at 12:00 EST where I’ll share the characteristics that define and shape a holy journey. Perhaps you’d like to respond here to a few of the questions we’ll discuss such as:
How does a church know when it’s ready to leave the first land and what needs to happen in the desert? What’s the role of leadership in each of these lands?