Awesome Families: The Promise of Healing Relationships in the International Churches of Christ

By Kathleen E. Jenkins | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
Sacred Counsel:
“Ambassadors for God”

“Miracle” is the defining word of the decade and a half
since our attack against the darkness was launched. In
Boston scarcely more than fourteen years ago, 30
would-be disciples gathered in the living room of Bob
and Pat Gempel. They came together bounded by the
blood of Jesus, the Spirit of our God, the Bible as the
only inspired and inerrant Scriptures and a conviction
that the only totally committed could be members of
the Lexington Church of Christ (later renamed
Boston). In the next few months the Bible doctrine
from Acts 11:26 of Saved=Christian=Disciple was
crystallized. The Spirit then gave us a deep conviction
that only these baptized disciples comprise God’s
kingdom on earth. This was and still is the true church
of Jesus.

— Evangelization Proclamation,
signed by movement leaders 2/4/94

MOST ORGANIZATIONS have a creation story, a founder’s vision that drives goals and ideals. Organizations benefit from telling these stories, members like to hear them; for both they serve as a sacred ritual of legitimation (Berger 1967; Berger and Luckmann 1966). They tell these stories frequently. In religious community, the story takes on a sacred life, made real, powerful, and often credited to divine design. These creation stories are told over and over again, in different settings, through various mediums and with creative variation. The story gives life to group symbols and worldview, their practices and beliefs articulated in the retelling of origins of faith-bound community. For some communities, group legend details the experiences and motivations of a charismatic

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