Life, Faith and Urban Farming

The life and happenings of an unconventional pastor and urban farmer living in the city with a family of five.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Reverence is not Popular

BJ asked Abraham and me to blog on The Open Door's core values along with him.

We must be crazy, The Open Door that is. Our first core value is reverence. What is the deal with that? Most people who are a part of The Open Door recognize the importance of being missional by contextualizing the gospel so that all people can hear it and understand it's relevance for their present life circumstances. I think being missional and contextualizing the gospel can be an exciting thing. For one thing it means we have to be relevant people, people who can hang with the guys. But what is the deal with this reverence thing, and why is it a core value?

Reverence is not a popular thing in our culture. Infact I think reverence is just uncool in our culture. How often do you see people in popular culture revering anyone? When was the last time you saw a young person on TV showing respect for an elderly person? Having respect and reverence causes us to lose ourselves, our own pridefulness, for the sake of lifting someone else up. We see reverence and respect in the way Asian cultures bow to one another, by bowing one lowers themselves in order to symbolically lift another person up. We don't bow to one another in America. We also see respect and reverence in scripture, especially in Revelation when all are called to bow before the thrown of God.

The Open Door's call to reverence as it's first core value is countercultural. Not only are we called to contextualize the gospel, but we are also called to give critical voice to the many things in our culture that are not right. We are called, as a community, to be countercultural. We are called to live lives that are different from those who are not followers of Jesus. If we allow ourselves to be a community formed into the larger community so much that we lose our "saltiness" we will cease to be the church.

The Open Door gives reverence to God. We honor God and we worship God as the Creator, Savior and Sustainer of all life. We look forward to the day when we will bow before the throne to give ultimate reverence to the ultimate king.

Quick story: one of the coolest worship experiences I've had was a few months ago at the Open Door worship gathering. I could feel that the Spirit was moving in our midst and that people were truly revering God, laying down their lives before him in worship. I looked into the gathering from up front and saw our friend Abraham first with his head in his hands worshiping while seated, everyone else standing. Then Abraham lowered himself into a kneeling position. Before long he was prostrate on the flood in front of our three crosses, completely face down. Abraham, thanks for showing us reverence before God in worship!

Reverence: We recognize God as Creator, Savior, and Sustainer. We value God's purposes, plans and perspectives first and foremost. Our highest priority is to give honor and glory to God in all we do. We are compelled to pray, worship, and pursue God in our daily lives and as a church community.

Check out our website for all of our core values and more, Open Door Core Values


Anonymous said...

reverence is almost a lost value and practice in today's church - and culture...even those who see themselves as God's people can have a casual and even presumptuous approach to our holy God - thanks Open Door for inviting the Spirit to move freely in your worship and for affirming a posture of reverence....

terrytimm said...

great post, john. and i agree with the first comment about reverence as a lost value and practice in the church today. we introduced to our congregation this past week, matt redman's song "facedown." i prsay the song takes root in our soul and spirit. it's pretty cool to see the emerging generations reminding us of our proper posture (both physical and heart)before our Creator.