“ … to Him shall the gathering of the people be”
The Gathering was prototyped as a citywide unity initiative between 2007-2012 in Melbourne, Australia. With a convergence of vision and values various ministries and leaders came together for this experimental expression of the body of Christ. It entailed a monthly gathering for worship and teaching, and additionally various equipping events and relational configurations.
The Gathering’s vision is for the post-denominational unity of Christ’s body, facilitated through the biblical rhythm between ‘temple worship’ and ‘house fellowship’ (Acts 2:46), providing a larger apostolic connectedness for morphing and emerging churches free of any franchise (sectarian) mentalities.
The Gathering is merely a tag for a biblical vision of revolution. It is a vision to re-imagine our world transformed by the fullness of God’s kingdom. The body of Christ is sick and divided—a scandal to the watching world. Therefore it is a revolution of God’s people being healed and becoming one through an act of God in a season of unprecedented spiritual renewal and reformation. It is a vision of the one body of Christ – city-by-city – around the globe regularly celebrating, as one-church-of-the-city, the unity of the Spirit together in great citywide gatherings.
Grounded in the Godhead, all that God does will be an expression of diversity in unity. Accordingly, The Gathering template, while seeking to be practical, is only a suggested way forward. Because this is not a humanly orchestrated vision or network its look will change from city to city, depending on cultural contexts and the leading of God’s Spirit.
It is a vision of Antique-Future church, drawing on the past but spiritually current, moving toward the consummation; it is 1st century apostolic DNA for the 21st century—as Jesus said, “the good scribe of the kingdom brings forth things both old and new”.
The Gathering is a strategy designed to catalyse the organic emergence of the body of Christ – city-by-city – around the globe, in answer to Christ’s prayer that “they all may be one … so that the world may know …” (Jn 17).
God has mandated that the body of Christ – through its oneness – will display God’s wisdom to principalities and powers—to nations and world rulers (Eph 3:10; Matt 28:19-20; Gen 1:26-28).
However, for this to occur a REVOLUTION must begin.
- The ‘church of the city’ is not merely an aggregate of existing local churches and institutions.
- It is a Spirit-led process—a re-shaping of mind-sets, values, and structures to facilitate a new expression of the church—one that will transcend the limitations of the past—of local church, denominational and sectarian loyalties.
- In fact, like the new wineskin of the first century – which initially intersected with the old wineskin of the synagogue but eventually superseded it – God is about to do something that will not only surpass our expectations but also supersede the systems we currently call “church”.
This is a spiritual war:
- For the supremacy of Christ in his church and through her to the whole of creation.
- For our obedience to the Great Commandment and to the Great Commission—that is, to the church’s teaching mandate to disciple all nations in God’s ways.
- For the spiritual and cultural transformation of the world – city-by-city – filling the whole earth with the knowledge of the glory of God.
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