Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Underground

I’m thinking out loud here, so please keep that in mind. For the last couple of days I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head that I just can’t shake free, so I’m trying to wrap my brain around all of it in the event it is the leading of Christ.
I live in a college town that has around 250k people in it, and about 30,000 of those are Texas Tech students. I know that the church I pastor, The Journey, has been mandated to reach this community, change the culture, and infiltrate the campus. As I think and pray over this, I keep coming to the place of doing something that is “undeground.” Our Worship Pastor, Nathan, mentioned it in his latest post after I brought it up at our life group last night. Here’s the idea: A regular gathering of Christ-followers that is in an out-of-the-way spot, no publicity other than word of mouth, with the purpose of encouraging local Christ-followers to be radical in their approach to how they practice their faith. I have in my mind this idea of something hidden, secret, subversive, a mystic gathering where there is an element of examination and sending. An Isaiah 6 experience in the vein of, for lack of a better term, a Rave is what I see. Now, I’m not espousing that we should try to mix a Rave and Jesus, but I’m at a loss for another way to describe it. Maybe something along the lines of the early church, meeting in out of the way places, getting their hearts in-line with Christ’s and game-plannning together, and going out to change their world. I’ve already found a barn that would work, might work…I’m still not sure that I’m not going nuts, but this idea is unshakeable! That’s where you come in. Your thoughts on content, concept, and carrying it our would be really useful.


stephen said...

I am thinking about this and a part of me is excited about it while a part of me questions if this was really the approach of Christ and the early church.

What excites me?
-the mystery (there is far too little mystery in our communities of faith)
-the sense of community
-the only way of advertising it would be word of mouth (pretty much forces your hand at establishing friendships)
-it's different (that right there might be enough reason for me to at least try it for a season)

What troubles me?
-the model of Paul in Acts 17 seems to be fairly straight forward (out in the open, public places of life)
-i am not sure we live in a world that really values the "rave" approach to things (underground approach)
-it will harder to sustain the movement i believe ("where do we meet this week?")

Overall I think it's a fair idea that could produce some great things for the Kingdom. Your approach to church planting will be different from many others (including myself) but it doensn't mean it wrong. Go with what you really feel will work for your context/culture.

I believe in you and the Journey no matter how it looks! Godspeed!!

cerealrat said...

To steal a line from the channel XMU on XM Radio:

"One Nation. Underground."

Kristen said...

whatever you do, be different. I feel that a lot of people, especially college students, want to be a part of somthing that isn't normal or the thing to do. They need a place where they can feel comfortable. Somewhere where they don't have to worry about what they are wearing or what they are (or aren't) driving. They want to be a part of something that is real and genuine. They don't care about pleasing anyone.
Okay, so I'm pretty sure that has nothing to do what you were talking about but that's what came to mind when I read your blog.
I gave in, I switched to blogger. Check it out.

The Bishop said...

I agree with you on the "what troubles me" points. I'm not really looking at The Journey being shaped, or becoming this, but more of a community event that could bring people together for the cause of Christ. As for the Journey, I'm still tracking where I was last time we talked. We've seen some increase in interest for The Journey. I'll bring you up to speed when we talk next, but, As for the underground, I'm not thinking soil for planting the church, just soil for planting desire in Lubbock. Does that make sense?

roy said...


When you look at your context/culture in Lubbock, your idea makes a lot of sense to me. When there is literally a church facility on every corner, when their are more church facilities than restaurants, when a community is saturated with a myriad of church facilities to choose from, it would be foolish to get a facility and try to compete with the other attractional churches. From what I know of your target and context, it makes sense to me.

Keep "P.L.O.W.ing" and you will know what to do (that is, Pray - Listen - Obey - and Watch...watch God do what only He can do).

No matter where you meet, it's still going to be ALL ABOUT CONVERSATIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS.

Billy V said...

I am going to try to write an article on "the underground church" basically trying to span the first 3 centuries of the church. It usd to drive me crazy when our sunday school member would complain that the ushers were not bringing visitors to their class. That was not the point, if you want your class to grow, you bring them in, don't expect them to show up and grow your class. You are on to something. (BTW, The Christian Rave has been done, I think somewhat effectively in some circles). You gotta love Postmodernism.

graceshaker said...

ever been to 'the door' in deep ellum? thats what your thots brought ot mind.

Blogadelic said...

here are my dumb ideas along this line of thinking:

meet at a cemetary? (catacombs)
that was when the church was really underground

a twist on the old progressive dinner, jump from house to house and at each home have a different element of worship; a time of silence-contemplation-listening, a time of praise, a time of meditaion on the word, use elements, icons, partake in communion, an act of service, etc. (take it from here)

there was this thing that lasted like 2 minutes, somekind of email fad, called 'flashmob' or something like that. someone sends out an email with instructions and everyone shows up at the same time and does something crazy as a group, well something along those lines like guerilla service projects

do any of these help?

and to imagine i got fired from a think tank because my boss walked in and said "what were you thinking!"