It doesn’t take long to drive through southwest Oklahoma to find its most distinguishing feature. It’s not the rolling hills, or the rundown barns. It’s not the wind torn trees or the sporadic town. Southwest Oklahoma’s most distinguished feature is its barbed wire fences. As you drive mile after mile you see them. They are the simple barriers that divide the open country side into units.
At one time cattle were pushed up what is now the 81 corridor on its previous name the Chisholm Trail. There were no barbed wire fences, not land subdivisions. It was just a beat down trail that moved cattle from one place to another. What happened to this trail? Why was this land subdivided and the parries split into pieces. People settled.
Ok Ok, I know, what one earth do barbed wire praries have to do with the church?…This is a church blog right? A few months ago I read a book that has helped shape my view of church ministry. This book simply looked at how churches define themselves. One example it gives is of a field that is fenced in on every side. This is a church that prevents any and all who think, act and live differently than them from joining their fellowship. This is the condition of most churches today. They are defined by their beliefs that differ them from others. For clarities sake, over the next few blogs I will call them the church of the barbed wire. Over the next 3 blogs, I will outline four ideas about the church of the barbed wire. First, what makes its fellowship? Secondly, I will discuss its evangelism. Thirdly I will answer what its discipleship looks like. Finally on Friday, I will discuss what its leadership structure it.
The question then becomes… What about the other model? What is the alternative? You will just have to wait till next week for that.