The Evolution of Kineo

Kineo. This was the name of a church plant that I pastored for 5 years. It’s a name loaded with meaning to me personally. It’s bigger than just what Kineo Church meant to me though. It’s a Greek word that literally means “to move” or “to put in to motion”. I have a good friend who mentioned this quote below years ago and it ‘moved’ me:

“If you claim to stand in a rushing river, yet you are not moved, then you are not standing in a rushing river.” Unknown

This impacted me greatly, as I was someone who claimed great things about God, who He is, and what it meant to be a worshiper of God, yet I was unmoved and uninspired most of the time in life. The word Kineo came to mind when I looked up what the phrase “to move” meant in Greek literature. This first ‘moved’ me years ago, and continues to move and shape me to this day. So I wanted to share with you the evolution of what this word has become to me.

Kineo. It is not really an entity, although I often dream about a non-profit called Kineo. But even if it never becomes an entity, it will always be an idea, an ethos or lens with which to view life. Kineo, “to be moved”, is not concerned with the type of movement that explains the “How do you become successful” questions, nor is it the kind of movement that answers the “What do you do” type of questions. No, the movement of Kineo to me is an ethos (look up what ‘ethos’ means in a dictionary if you have to… there’s no shame in that… I had to do that when I first came across the word). Kineo is an ethos which is radically committed to answering the “Who are you” and the “Why do you do what you do” type of questions in life. If the “Who” and the “Why” are covered, you can handle any “What” and “How” in life. This is a new/old way to be human; it’s an habitual spirit of a community of justice and love, displayed in what it desires and how it behaves.

Kineo is a call to move.

To listen.

To see.

To stand.

To hold.

To fight.

For the vulnerable.

For the marginalized.

For the broken.

For the grieving.

For the lonely.

Kineo is a corrective voice to the dominant culture, to help open eyes and ears to voices and stories that have been lost in the wreckage of Western development. It’s a corrective voice for entrepreneurs of the future to consider a new way of business and profit, of shared values and community engagement that gives birth to new types of partnerships. It’s a corrective call to break the silence of the powerless, and to pave new ways of success and healing from trauma. It’s a corrective voice to the old forms of the gathered church to consider alternative communities: slow, organic churches, neighborhood parishes, shared living communities, communities that rediscover the power of proper lament, rest, and the sacramental life, but not dismissing the old forms either. It’s a corrective voice to the consumer model of living that has left sabbath on the dusty shelf of life.

It is within this idea, this ethos, that Kineo was birthed. It’s been my desire for this ethos to penetrate hearts and minds, to begin to take shape in neighborhoods and businesses, families and faith communities, cities and states. It’s a movement with no real form, and is already happening regardless of myself or this blog post. It’s an underground erosion of the soul that moves people to begin alternative ways of doing life, caring for the marginalized, regaining hope, experiencing beauty, resting and playing, and boldly loving which brings about change.

Will you be a part of the movement? It requires great costs. It demands you drop the act and begin to be honest with who you are. It’s terribly scary and will wreck your status quo agenda in life. But it’s essential for those who are longing for more. It’s your choice. This is your world. You’re shaping what it’s like every day you’re alive. Join the invisible movement today! Tell me about your “Kineo” story. I would love to hear.

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Coram Deo

Coram Deo is a Latin phrase that means to live ones life in the presence of God, literally ‘before the face of God’. This means that there is never a moment when life is hidden from God. If God is who he says he is according to scripture and the Christian tradition, then he is always present, in all places, at all times. Boy, this sure makes life a little more interesting if one believes this, indeed, if one lives their life in such a way that this is true.

When I pastored Kineo Church, I would send us all off with a liturgical blessing every Sunday at the end of each service with this ‘priestly blessing’ that God told Moses to tell the priests to bless the people of Israel with:

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26, NIV)

Those two phrases: “the Lord shine his face upon you… the Lord turn his face toward you…” have always pierced my heart. Think about it. The Lord of all creation, allows his glory (power, beauty) to shine on us, and then in acceptance of us, he turns towards us in love, not away from us in disgust. This is a hard truth for many people to believe.

It’s hard for me to believe many times, because if ‘coram deo’ is true, then God has been with me and has witnessed me do many terrible things, as well as seen many terrible things done to me, even behind my back, and it seems God is passive in these moments. Oh man, I wrestle with this, and I’m not sure I’ll ever have a ‘pat’ answer on why, and this post wasn’t meant to seek any answers to that right now.

The point I’m getting after is this. If ‘coram deo’ is true, and one lived their life to the rhythm of this truth, then this would create a very consistent life, a non-hypocritical life, an honest life. If one lived as if they believed this, then there would be no denials of their corruption or masking of their behavior; one would simply admit what is true because they would know that God is with them and knows what really is true.

I struggle living like this. I struggle being okay with the reality that God is always with me, and I am before His face, and life can still suck. I struggle with experiencing his presence in a way that is tangible, but I also have freedom to real and honest and not try to pretend to you or anyone else who I am, or who I’m not. There’s freedom in that. This is why Paul says that there is freedom where ever the spirit of God is, which means freedom is present for you… right now, if you’re willing to believe that God is before you right now… He is not disgusted with you, and he isn’t hiding his face from you. This is how we get to the place where we have “nothing to hide, nothing to fear, nothing to prove, nothing to lose, and nothing to manage.”

God doesn’t play hide and seek. We do. God is like the kid in the closet yelling, “I’m not in the closet!” with a big grin on his face, because he wants you to find him. God, in Christ Jesus, took what you deserved so you could get what he deserves. Do you believe that? Does your life live like that’s true? Do your thoughts think in such a way that proves that’s true? I’m on a journey to believe this daily, and today, it’s a struggle. Good thing my beliefs and struggles aren’t what’s true all the time.