All organizations are organized, whether they be a government, charity or sports club. Even families are a little bit organized.
Organizing is meant to be helpful and facilitate the purpose of the organization.
The purpose of Jesus Followers is to encourage others to grow in their faith-walk. Jesus promised that he would build his church. So in a simple way we do our part, and we let Jesus do his part.
Unfortunately many faith groups have embraced organizational paradigms that are not always biblical, and can destroy the very faith-community they are meant to serve. Professional, Top-Down and Segregated (professionals vs non-professionals) tend to be the pattern that fits the western mind, and cause many organizations to deviate wildly from the pages of the New Testament.
Often church structure (the organized part) is referred to a “wineskin” or a “container” to foster and encourage a life of worship, prayer, learning, transformation, challenge, relationships and friendships. Redefining the wineskin back to the early Christian pattern means “unpacking” alien customs and traditions that can choke or stifle healthy faith communities.
We see a few core attributes of the original “wineskin”, but not limited these:
Unity, Eating and relaxing together – Yes, having coffee, meals and time together, or any activity that encourages connecting, dialogue and relationship building. The goal is to build unity, like-mindedness woven together in a fabric of simplicity and sincerity.
Lifestyle, not programs – There are no formulated programs, but rather a switch to a new lifestyle of vibrant Godly-relationships, conversations and gathering that add life, not take life away. The “Living Way” is a “Daily” walk of faith, not just an hour a week.
Everyone contributes, not professional clergy – Each person brings talents and gifts, that are acknowledged, developed and shared. Each person is honoured and regarded as a minister.
Dignity, not just a Number – Every individual is precious and has something to add. Each individual also represents the Royal Priesthood, therefore warrants dignity and honour before God. Humans are not just a number.
Women are not marginalized – We see women included in all aspects of faith, fellowship and leadership without constraint or condescension. Make space, and give honour to women.
Money vs Generosity – Everyone gives and donates where ever they decide. If funds or resources are needed for practical reasons, the whole group makes a decision together, based on practicality, need, wisdom and generosity. Furthermore, we no longer invest or give into Church buildings. We sow generously and lavishly into boots-on-the-ground Gospel communicators and Gospel mission builders. We have no bank account and don’t accept financial donations of any kind. If we are given funds from any reason, we donate those funds to Prison Ministry in the Bali Kerobokan Prisons. We don’t keep the funds.
Servant Leaders, not Dominators – Our leadership model is modelled off healthy parenthood. We are available to help, not judging, not controlling, but driven by kindness and gentleness.
Dialogues, not monologues – The ability and safety for each individual to speak, be heard and converse with others is a core pattern. Talk to Jesus, and talk to each other. It’s hard to demonstrate you love someone when you only see the back of their head at an event. Conversation is vital in getting to know each other. If we have a speaker, we share the speaking opportunity lavishly amongst the group to accommodate very precious voice. While this might seem foreign, its how the original church functioned when it began.
Size Does Matter – We see small groups that are conducive to open, vibrant conversation are where life and relationships “really happen”. Depending on the personalities of the group and the meeting venue (Kitchen table, Cafe, Board Room, Training Room, Beach, Restaurant, etc) and the timeslot available (Coffee time, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Weekday, Weekend, etc) will determine the right size. Two(2) to about twelve (12) is about optimal, but there is no hard rule, and no upper limit.
Disciple Making – Helping believers make the transition from being “barren” to “reproductive” disciple makers is is a big focus for us. This is very important reason WHY we meet and HOW we conduct relationships and gatherings. We are all called to BE disciples (encouragers) and to disciple (encourage) others. The group works best when all feel comfortable that they have something to add. This is where 1 + 1 = 3. This format creates a mysterious “synergy” when we gather.
Outreach – While Oasis is a very relaxed and safe place to gather, we do not shy away from having an intentional and proactive community outreach focus to share the amazing news of Jesus. We have a fast and powerful interactive method of reaching people one-on-one, in a fun and respectful way that mirrors the exact words of Jesus himself. We also try to welcome and invite anyone of any worldview to participate. We don’t judge. The Word and the Holy Spirit get to do their transformative work in all who gather.