This is Mia Chang and Verlon Fosner’s talk from this year’s Awakenings summit. It’s free for you to download from 9/4 to 9/10.
About the Resource
There is an idea that the gifts of the Spirit are best reserved for mature saints. That would be a surprise to the first Apostles.
While some have experienced a sanctuary-like version of the Spirit they feel might confuse unsaved persons, we will look at how the Spirit looks in jeans and a sweatshirt. We will also look at how to cooperate with the Spirit’s gifts on the sidewalks and in community spaces among unchurched people.
About Mia Chang
Rev. Dr. Mia Chang, Lead Pastor, planted NextGen Church in 2008. Rev. Mia was ordained as a pastor by the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey upon completing her studies at the Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. She obtained her doctorate in ministry studies at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University in PA.
More From Mia
About Verlon Fosner
Verlon and his wife Melodee Fosner have been in church leadership for 35 years, and for the past 18 years have served a 93 year-old church in Seattle, Washington.
In 2004, when their long effective church began to decline, they felt called plant an Agape’ Feast Church in a nearby urban neighborhood. Within a year, they had hundreds of Seculars as friends, gathering around their tables, and talking about Jesus. What began as an urban Dinner Church spread into a multi-site Dinner Church, and then expanded into a national Dinner Church Network.
In 2014, Verlon received a Doctoral degree for his research on “The Dinner Church of the Apostolic Era”, and has written three books on the subject. Then in 2016, Verlon and Melodee joined the Fresh Expressions US team to lead the DinnerChurchCollective initiative. Verlon and Melodee have three married children, five grandchildren, and two grand-dogs.
More from Verlon
Church was not always done the way we do it.
There was a time when Christians gathered around tables, included the strangers and the poor, ate together, and talked about Jesus. This form of church occurred mostly during the rst three hundred years of Christianity, and was highly e ective in bringing lost people to Jesus. While the church of today is very meaningful to Christ-followers, it is failing to help our lost neighbors nd their way to the Savior. That is no small concern for Jesus’ churches, all of which are called to be in the rescue business.
Christianity is the greatest rescue project the world has ever seen. Yet, many churches across America are shrinking instead of growing. After spending eighteen years as a pastor in highly secularized Seattle, Verlon Fosner began to realize that the church had a sociological problem. While outreach efforts and new wine were genuine, the church’s old wineskin was brittle and leaking. In other words, the traditional ways of doing church were not capable of housing a new wine that would be necessary to compel a secular culture to Jesus.
With church attendance nationwide declining at an alarming rate, it’s increasingly clear that something must change. Instead of being drawn to the church steeple, it seems that today’s culture is actually repelled by it.
What if we went back to the form of church the apostles used? What if we recovered Jesus’ dinner table theology for the modern church?