Tribal Gathering Report Part I
So I want to catch everyone up with what went on in my life at the Tribal Gathering in Kansas City. I started to write a play by play commentary on everything that happened each day, but it just got boring. I figured if I was bored writing about the play by play of my life, everyone else would be terribly bored reading it. So instead I’m going to give you the highlights of each day and if anyone demands more information, we can go from there.
First, I should probably explain what we were doing in Kansas City. Obviously Christy and I have some strong roots there, both with the IHOP and the ROCK International. We decided to take part in the Tribal Gathering because we missed our friends in the ROCK and wanted to be intentional about participating in events that were moving the spiritual family in KC forward. The ROCK believes in apostolic tribes, a concept I promised a reader I would talk about more fully in my other blog, so if you’re really confused, jump back over, read the blog, and then come back here. But quickly, apostolic tribes are spiritual families that relate around a special sending from the Lord to accomplish a given mission. They are definitely more family than a typical network of churches. The ROCK (the only apostolic tribe I’ve been a part of, by the way) does all sorts of crazy things like having Tribal Gatherings (kind of a mix between a conference and a family reunion) and taking family vacations together (making a point to take their inner-city youth into really cool places like the Rockies).
So the morning session of the TG was full of a lot of hugs, a lot of introductions, and a lot of love. Tim Johns, one of the main apostolic fathers in the ROCK, began the day with a massively important message that was pretty much the sum of his life and ministry. He basically told the story of his life and how God had been preparing him and numerous others in Kansas City to prepare the church for the time when God “changes the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation.” The whole message was an appeal for a merging of God’s wine (the outpouring of the Holy Spirit) with the appropriate wineskin (a covenant family flexible enough to handle the outpouring of the Spirit). While this wasn’t necessarily revolutionary to me (I had heard Tim give this message numerous times), as I remember the trip I realize that God used that message to realign my heart. I had become so focused on understanding the mechanics of house churches (the wineskin) that I have for the most part given little attention to pursuing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (the wine, the reason for the wineskin’s existence). It was a needed wakeup call. My friend John said it was the best message on the subject he has ever heard.
The other highlight of the day was participating in the meeting with Rolland and Heidi Baker. I had never been in a meeting with the Bakers before, but I had some good expectations and I was not disappointed. To my utter surprise, Rolland Baker was much more “out there” in the Spirit than Heidi. I had expected Heidi to be caught up in the anointing but Rolland to be more intellectual or something. By the end of the first worship meeting with them, Rolland had earned the nickname “Tigger” because he would surprise people by laying his hands on them and blasting them with the Spirit of God. It was a hoot. I’ll say a little more about Rolland on the next day’s report.
Heidi’s message was amazing. As she began to speak I had a little miniature encounter with the Lord where Jesus introduced me to “His friend, the Holy Spirit.” I’m not sure exactly what all that means, but the little that I have experienced so far has made a pretty dramatic influence in my life. Heidi spoke on the need to be impregnated with the promises of God, carry the reproach of those promises, and carry those promises to full term. In her own great Heidi-Baker-sort-of-way she challenged everyone to enter into the fullness of God in a way that would cause us not to abort the purposes of God in our lives.
The evening ended well. Many people responded to the altar call. The Lord touched a lot of people, especially through Rolland “Tigger” Baker. More on him in my next post….