I recently saw a post by the owner of Reformation Brewery located close by in Woodstock, GA. The post is best summarized in this statement: “This one single truth is that all of life is to be lived OUT of salvation and not FOR salvation. Another way of saying it, all of ministry is to be exercised OUT of the gospel and not performed FOR the gospel. Add any “if’s, and’s, or but’s” you will distort this truth and suppress its power.” I wanted to take my scribing time this morning to expound on how the statement reflects what I am doing with The Oak House.
I view my work at The Oak House as the way I am to fulfill God’s call on my life. Years ago, I knew I would be doing exactly what I am doing right now. To be fair, I had no idea it would have taken such a windy road to get here. I often tell people I have only been 100% sure God was telling me something 3 times (that I can remember) in my life. The first was to start a ministry for Police Officers. The second was to give the ministry to a very particular person. The third was that I was going to open a space where the community gathered throughout the week and a church would use it on Sunday. Well here we are!
“There is a reformation of life and ministry in living OUT of salvation. Christian ministry, outreach, and cultural engagement become less project and more comprehensive lifestyle. When Christians are living OUT of salvation instead of FOR salvation they experience freedom. Freedom rooted in the very identity of Christ. This results in freedom to risk, freedom to engage, freedom to love, freedom to live as we are created to live.” Several years ago, I started hearing and reading about the Missional Community style of church. Back then, everyone thought I was crazy and they kept telling me that “house church” had already been done and there was no way we would see a resurgence of that. I knew enough about the movement to know it wasn’t a “house church” movement. It was much deeper. It was living your live with intention. It was living a life of ministry. It was the everyday Joe finally being a saint equipped to do the work of ministry. And for years I watched church leaders fail to do their part and equip them beyond a “good Sunday message.”
Since being brought on staff at Oak Leaf Church to run The Oak House, I often get asked this question via text, “Are you at the church?” I always laugh at the question. My response is usually, “No. I am at the building.” I know it gets some strange looks. I also know the heart behind the question they are asking but for some reason people equate the four walls they come to on Sunday as being “the church”. The word is from the greek work “ekklesia”which literally means “assembly”. It isn’t about the building at all. In fact, Romans 16:5 says “… greet the church that is in their house.” Paul refers to the church in their house, not a church building, but a body of believers. When we stop referring to the building as the church and start referring to the body of believers at the church, maybe we can have a better grasp of what living on mission is really all about.
The Oak House is how I live my life on mission. Much like what Reformation Brewery means to Spencer Nix, The Oak House is my way of living out of salvation. It is not my homage to God. It is not my way of working myself into the hereafter. It is just who I am.
How do you live out your life in a unique way that expresses who you really are? I would love to hear about it.