My Journey into understanding church — We are Servants — Part 3


After 4 years, my time drew to a close at this little church. I was discouraged because there were multiple problems with this church. I began to ask questions like, “If this is what Christianity is all about, do I want to be a part of it?” The answer in my soul was a resounding “NO!” But Jesus was real to me and I had come to love the gospel. What should I do? A brilliant idea came, so I packed everything up, and enrolled in Seminary. As newlyweds, my wife and I moved into an apartment complex that was almost completely African American. We intentionally built our schedules so that our evenings and weekends were free so we could love our neighbors in simple ways.  A kid’s club started, then a youth group, then an adult Bible study. Then came haphazard Christmas concerts and camping trips – it was awesome! As people came to know and love us, it seemed that they came to know and love the God in whose name were were serving. It was such a beautiful thing. The church we were attending got excited too and began to help out. They eventually hired me as a full time associate pastor.  This was a precious season in our lives, but it was also the time that God used to help me realize something crucial about the church. I became very busy with message prep, trustee meetings, deacons meetings, event planning, crisis counseling, parent meetings, trip coordinating, advertising, and media stuff. The work of the ministry became all consuming. One day I found myself irritated because once again I did not have the time to reach out to my neighbors because I was too busy with the church. As I mulled this over, “the penny dropped” and I had a defining moment of realization. I was too busy doing church work to be on mission in my neighborhood. I didn’t have time to serve those who needed the gospel because I was too busy preaching the gospel. It was one of those unforgettable “uh oh! what am I doing?” moments.

At that point I began to pour myself into the study of ecclesiology: What is the church? Why are we here? What do we do? What do we look like? Meta communities is the grand experiment of this journey into understanding church. At Meta we see ourselves as a family, not a business or service, event or club.  But a community of people that know, love, and take care of each other, we try to welcome people into the good news of Jesus by welcoming them into this family regardless of where they are at on their spiritual journey. We believe we are sent by God into this world to tell, and show the good news of Jesus in the everyday, it’s who we are, and finally, since Jesus said “I am among you as one who serves” we endeavor to embrace his servant DNA into the very fabric of our lives.


About Dennis Arve Wilkinson

Happily married, blessed with four children, thrilled to have started Meta Communities in 2011. Born in Calgary, raised in Winnipeg, undergraduate education in Wisconsin (NIU) & Seminary education in Minnesota (CBTS). During my time in the Midwest I gained about a dozen years of pastoral experience. It has been my privilege to travel to many parts of the globe and divine providence has smiled on me by allowing me to be mentored by several men of great character over the course of my life time. I am a follower of Jesus - though not without struggle. I am committed to joining God in the restoration of all things by telling, showing, and welcoming people into the good news of God's story. God's story of redemption in Jesus is the best story the human has -- I am letting the better story shape my life and helping others do the same.

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Good Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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