Our current North American church model goes something like this:
1. Come and gather with us.
2. We have something amazing for you.
3. We have things to teach you.
4. Once you have learned the things we have to teach,
5. Once you have proven your value to our organization,
6. Once you abide by our rules,
7. Once you fit in with us,
8. Then we just might think about … receiving from you.
The model of church found in Luke 10 is remarkably different than this.
Jesus, sending out the 72 instructed this:
1. Go out – with gentleness and no snarl (10:3)
2. Make no provision for yourself – be vulnerable (10:4)
3. Become guests in the homes of others (10:5)
4. Lead with peace (10:6)
5. Allow them to care for you – receive from them (10:7-8)
6. Declare the Kingdom of God – heal the sick (10:9)
The method that Jesus taught is in stark contrast to the way we tend to do church in the west (and wherever has copied this western model).
The church says ‘come to where we are’.
Jesus says ‘go to where they are’.
The church says ‘fit into what we are doing’.
Jesus says ‘fit into what they are doing’.
The church says ‘receive from us’.
Jesus says ‘receive from them’.
And in this humility of mutual need, of honour of the individual and of what each brings to the table, of receiving, of deep listening, of building rapport, then and only then do we have invitation and full agreement (most of the time vs.11-12) to share and declare the Kingdom of God.
The first one to get down, the way to lead forward: Receive from others.
If we get this right the rest just might fall into place.