The local church I attend and serve as pastor--The Shepherd's House Church of the Nazarene--has gone through quite a month of transition. The congregation had met in the same space--1500 sq ft in three rooms of a small commercial building-- for eight years of the twelve they'd been in existence. Everyone we talked to said we were paying way too much for the size of the space and the location. So, we'd been looking for other options for about four months.
The options were all very much in flux: a great location but not move-in ready, move-in ready but occupied for a few months, another site was being considered for purchase by a large out of town church to plant a congregation in Knox County. On Sunday, we decided to stay where we were because of an additional small room added at no extra charge. Besides, who has time for a move? Well, a bivocational pastor of a lot of busy people. We called the landlord and agreed verbally to a new lease. The next day, Monday, the landlord called and said one of the rooms (1/3 of the space and our sole water supply) was rented to another party at the end of our current lease, but he'd be glad to take 15% off the rent.
As a board we planned on an emergency meeting fpr Thursday, August 25. So, all day Tuesday, I drove around to the various possible locations, praying. I drove around Knox County, praying. All the time, I drove by this location near the entrance to Apply Valley, and sensed we should be close to where we were.
So, today was our first day of worship in our new meeting place, third space as sacred space.
Here is our Liturgy of Transit used for today's service to move from one space into the next.
So, I heard this phenomenon named yesterday on this blog post from "The Spirit of Error" website, which kind of says all you need to know about the OP.
I didn't link to the site just because.
The blog post that irked me the most is entitled (and linked here) How to Spot a NAR Book
Later in the Facebook feed where the blog post was linked, there was also a link to a book critical of the movement entitled New Apostolic Reformation? (or NAR, for short).
So, I bought it and read through the first two chapters last night that defined the topic and the context of the critique as well as a little later in the book that criticizes the Seven Mountain Mandate.
This last bit surprisingly lumps Loren Cunningham and Bill Bright into the crosshairs of the critique. In short, these two leaders sought to focus on the seven peak influencers in a community. Ironically, the criticism says nothing about Abraham Kuyper's (horrifying) notion of "sphere sovereignty" which is exactly the same thing, just another way to talk about a form of Christian colonizing rather than inviting the Kingdom to come through strangers and exiles (Hebrews says something about this in chapters 11 and 12).
In summary, the New Apostolic Movement is identified with C. Peter Wagner of church growth guru fame as well as another 20th century movement called the Latter Rain. Similar movements are named including African Independent Churches, The Kansas City Prophets (cool name for a band, I think), the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), the Bethel School of Worship, and the International House of Prayer. (Do I have your attention now?) Note: I have avoided hyperlinking in this paragraph because you can just google any of these topics on your own. The main contention against NAR is that all of these groups point toward modern-day apostles and prophets.
My initial worries about critics of NAR:
When I read more of the book and its critiques (such as not knowing anything about the Latter Rain movement), which could take some time with the semester starting Monday (and because I should be working on my syllabi instead of writing this), I'll try to post some updates later.