Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve Jones here…Our Fellowship’s “Statement of Faith” states that the local church is, “a sovereign, independent body…” No argument there. Our autonomy is part of our identity as a Fellowship of Churches.
However, how is this autonomy supposed to work? I ate lunch in Calgary several months ago and sat with an elder from one of our Fellowship Churches. Mike asked me if I knew what, “autindiginy” meant. I had to admit I had never heard the term. He sent me the following in an email:
AUTINDIGINY . AUTINDIGINOUS:
A characteristic of the first century church: (and should characterize the present day church). Autonomous assemblies of believers where leadership was developed from within the body.
Although local bodies retained their independence, in practice there was a unity throughout the fellowship of churches in adherence to the gospel. This was fostered by an INTERDEPENDENCE.
Leadership “gifting” were developed indigenously—fulfilling the mandate of Ephesians 4 (every believer motivated to maturity). These gifts were recognized when they began to function and were appointed to public service by the apostles.
Hmmmm…does this characterize our Fellowship of Churches? Before you point fingers, ask yourself, “When was the last time you or your church did something for another local church or church leaders that brought no visible benefit to you or your church?” Interdependence…something to think about. Autonomous bodies functioning like they’re completely dependent on the Lord, but also on one another to get the mission accomplished. Yes, something to ponder while we eat our “Wheaties” tomorrow morning.
Have a blessed week!
Update on Andrew Rozalowsky:
I wanted to provide you an update on Andrew Rozalowsky, husband of our Administrative Assistant, Suzanne, who was diagnosed with acute leukemia a few days before Christmas 2011. Andrew meets with doctors in Toronto next week to discuss his case. The last results showed he was still in remission following several rounds of chemo. They will discuss the “next steps” in Toronto. We thank God that a suitable stem cell donor has been found and this will be part of the discussion next week. Please pray for wisdom for doctors and specialists as they discuss Andrew’s case. Pray also for peace for Andrew and Suzanne as they await news. Thank you for praying for this family.