Ancient – Future. Does that sound like an oxymoron? Maybe. There’s a passage in the Bible where God is calling out to His people,
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest of your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16 NIV).
In other words, walk into the future utilizing and living into the ancient ways.
“Walking” was more than just transportation, it communicated how a person lived. When God through Jeremiah called the people to “ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it…”, God was calling the people to live their future life as He had always intended.
Jesus showed us that His way is not only the “good way”, it’s the best. People from all sorts of backgrounds and beliefs acknowledge Jesus exemplified how to live well. He taught us how to have meaningful and full relationships. Those who walked the dusty, rocky Judean paths were so impacted by Him they were willing to die rather than live and believe as secular and religious authorities demanded.
Ancient-Future means several things for us, but I think it’s best to focus on just a couple for now. First, it means that we’re going to build everything we do on God’s Word. I’ve noticed Christian communities (sometimes a.k.a. churches) that thrive and are effective in ministering to their larger town, city or area confidently seek God’s Word for direction and teaching. Jesus said,
“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock (solid foundation).” (Sermon on the Mount).
That’s the reason there is a “Stone” in our name. We’re building on the character and wisdom of Jesus Christ.
Secondly, Ancient-Future means we’re going to build RiverStone and our ministries around those practices of Jesus. They’re old, but they are effective and enable people to know and love God, love and support one another, experience life with joy and hope, and be transformed as they play a part in transforming the culture around them.
Jesus began small, with just a few people, teaching them in a small community. We call them Life Groups, because participants share life together and are for one another. This addresses the epidemic of loneliness in our culture. While people “communicate” by way of social media, they are having fewer and fewer close, personal relationships with people they can look in the eye and depend upon.
I think we are at a crossroads, a defining moment, that will determine whether our culture continues to devolve, or we play our part in turning things around. There was a time when the world looked very similar and Jesus taught His followers how to live their life in relationship with God and others and the known world was transformed. Life became valuable. Families grew strong. Real community was experienced. Even economies benefitted. Time and again, Jesus’ way has shown us it can happen again.
So, we’re going “Ancient-Future” at RiverStone. I pray you will join us in hearing the call God gave through Jeremiah. We’re going ancient, but in a relevant and exciting way for the future.