The Unexpected Journey from Seminary to Organic Church
“This is the story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost his neighbours’ respect, but he gained—well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.” – J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit
My name is Marc Hardy. I am deeply in love with Jesus Christ and I am learning anew everyday what it means to say, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” I have been privileged to be a part of an organic church community in Gainesville, FL, for the last three years, in which I have learned, and am still learning, to live by the indwelling life of Jesus Christ and to express His life on the earth.
Like most people in organic church, I have had an interesting journey to where I am at with the Lord. I never would have imagined that I would be here or that so much would happen to me. I finished high school with sense of being called into ministry, so the next logical step was to attend a private Christian university where I earned a B.A. in Christian Ministry (with a minor in youth ministry). Even then, I did not feel ready to get a ministry job yet, so I went to seminary and got my M.A. in Theological Studies. Everything should have been nice and neat, but the Lord awoke something within me that told me church was more than what is commonly seen. I eventually followed the Lord’s leading to a conference on organic church where I met people from the community I am currently a part of. I knew this was where I was supposed to be so I finished my degree and then moved to Florida.
As you already know, my blog title is an allusion to The Hobbit, especially Bilbo Baggins and all he experienced. He was comfortable and safe at home, until he was essentially thrust out of his front door to experience a vast world, filled with adventure. Likewise, I was basically content with being the idea of being a pastor, yet the Lord lead me to abandon a call to ministry and the career I was about to enter so I could move to Florida, in order to explore the vastness of Jesus Christ with the saints here. Yes, I know there are people (you may even be among them) who completely disagree with me, who think that church is just fine, and who have essentially written me off. However, if you are willing to journey with me, you will see all that I have gained and continue to gain pursuing Jesus Christ.
I write this blog for all of you who want to know the Lord more and are willing to do anything to pursue Him, no matter what the cost. You desire to see His life expressed more fully in and by His church, yet you see and feel a disconnect from how the Church looks in the New Testament and now.
My intent is to practically address issues and questions that others and I myself have asked about the Church and living life according to the Lord. Through my journey, I wish to show you how the Lord has altered and continues to alter what I had always been told in sermons and classes into a new understanding of who He is and how to live by His life, as a part of an organic church community.
However, before you ask, my overall purpose is not give you methodologies or try to sell you organic church. My only goal is to point you to Jesus Christ and the richness that comes from seeking to know Him more, especially as I have experienced among and with a group of people who are of the same mind.
All that being said, to draw from C.S. Lewis in The Last Battle, I hope you will join me as we go further up and further into our Lord together!