Why the Abbey Church??  

Thoughts from our pastors

 
In Matthew 13:52, Jesus describes an agent of the Kingdom of heaven by comparing him to a householder entertaining guests. Jesus says that that man will “bring forth out of his treasure things both old and new.” One commentary calls it “old truths in ever new forms, aspects, applications and with ever new illustrations.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary adds that we should fill ourselves with “truths new and old...ancient and modern improvements, and lay them up, in order to lay them out, for the benefit of others.”
 
THAT is what the Abbey is about: providing a context in which the life-changing truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be set free to invade every area of society and walk of life. The Abbey is an ever-dynamic expression of the Kingdom of God, radiating outward from its center, the local church.
 
Paul and Perrianne Brownback have been particularly moved as they have journeyed through England and Scotland and observed the ruins of ancient abbeys there. In the early days of Christianity, those locations were places of radical faith and devotion, mission and community. Story after story recounts the early Christian era in Britain as a time of demonstration and power such that one could say that the book of the “Acts of the Apostles” in a sense was still being written! And yet, today, some of those abbeys have become no more than halls of religion while others are ruined completely. In one town in Scotland, the broken down walls of what was once an abbey stand at the center of town, now used only as a night-time hang-out for young people who are actively pursuing darkness instead of light. The sight of the graffiti now decorating the stone walls that once housed devotion provides a moving metaphor that speaks of God’s desire to reform and re-fire His church in the earth!
 
We believe that God is crying out to his people to “rebuild the ancient ruins,” but not in an ancient way! The Abbey Church represents our commitment to expressing the radical redemption that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ in language society “gets”.
 
God’s plan is to absolutely change society through the unlikely vessels that WE are! Every believer is a resource for changing the world and when we truly learn how to release each other to the expressions of faith God has written in each of our hearts, we will see the church once again be the life-giving center of the community in which it is planted. This is the Abbey Church...won’t you join us in the journey?
 
 
WHAT YOU WON’T SEE AT THE ABBEY:
WHAT WE ARE GOING FOR INSTEAD:
Lots of structure and rules; a hierarchy of power
Life flow among all members because we really believe Jesus’ church is a body?there are leaders, but not stars
Religious expectations and performance
Grace lived out: the knowledge that we don’t “earn” anything, but rather receive what God has already done for us in Christ
Serious religious faces
Value placed on FUN and LAUGHTER, the realization that it is okay to enjoy life in God
Cookie-cutter Christian uniformity
“Characters welcome”
Shiny, happy people faking smiles
Real people connecting to a real God in real life
 
Manuals with complete answers on how to do church
A “culture of experimentation” where we are learning to follow God in the safety of each other’s company
Pews full of bodies who only represent a resource to build someone’s vision
A networking of relationships that are the life flow of the Abbey
 
Paul Brownback, 2/21/2003