Posted by Nick Ressler, Executive Director on

Microcosm. It's a word that you use when you see a smaller version of something larger...or when you see a larger pattern repeated in a smaller thing. Trust me, it's a cool word.

For instance, if I were to poll a random but small percentage of the population for their opinion about (insert controversial issue here) then I could say that the results of my poll are a microcosm of the greater population's opinion. 

Or how about this: The Voice is a very different show from American Idol because professional singers don't just judge an amateur performer, they work with them and train them to become a professional. Thus, The Voice is a microcosm of discipleship.

See? Microcosm is a pretty cool word!

I grew up in a world where church was a brick and motor building that had big front doors and a steeple on the roof. It's a building with a "narthex" (that's a lobby, by the way), class rooms and a sanctuary that has pews or chairs facing a stage and usually a pulpit. 

Over time, I came to realize that church is no more a building than Kenbrook is just buildings and woods. I was shown that church (and Kenbrook for that matter) really is people. We are the Church. Like a human body made up of cells, the church is made up of individual people who come together to form a greater, larger organism. I came to watch the church function and I began to realize something...something that would forever change the way I saw church and Kenbrook.

Kenbrook is a microcosm of the Church.

In each cabin you have 6-10 students and one counselor. They live together, play together, learn together, study together and journey together throughout the week they are here. The counselor's role is truly that of a shepherd. Sometimes he or she is herding the group or teaching the group. Sometimes protecting the group on a journey. Always watching out for the group and loving on the individual. The shepherd helps the group bond together and knits it into a community.

Funny thing...the biblical term for pastor is shepherd.

Each of these individual cabins (or congregations) come together with other groups to play, celebrate, learn and worship. They meet new people. They have challenging conversations. They meet those who are different than themselves and who are learning different things. All of our shepherds come together to care for this larger community and they are guided and cared for by a smaller, select group of shepherds that we call Program Staff. 

The Program Staff is small but mighty. They are few but they are depended on daily for wisdom, support and encouragement to the shepherds who are caring for their congregations...ahem, I mean cabins. If a counselor gets sick or has an emergency it is the Program Staff who step into the role.

I think the biblical term for Program Staff is elders (those in leadership) or deacons (those who serve).

All of this programming, activity and coordination is overseen by our Program Director. This individual train's the staff, holds the staff accountable to the covenant of service they agreed to, correct's the staff if need be and maintains the structure that is put in place to give life to Kenbrook. 

Sometimes, the word bishop is translated as overseer.

Now, I'm not suggesting that we change the titles of our staff here at Kenbrook. I'm also not suggesting that we change our terminology in the church. Or that summer camp takes the place of church in any way. What I want us all to see is that ministry...real ministry...that reflects what Jesus and the Apostle's set up 2000 years ago is happening at Kenbrook. The Good News is being proclaimed, staff are becoming closer, children hear God's word (some for the first time) and people are genuinely loving one another. "By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35)

Kenbrook is a microcosm of the Church. What a cool word!

Tags: bishop, church, deacon, elder, gospel, jesus, kenbrook, love, overseer, patterns, random, shepherd, microcosm, kenbrook staff, brick and motor



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