Let’s Focus Our Discussion

I’m sitting in a training/discussion meeting in St. Louis right now with Ed Stetzer, one of the most articulate, informed researchers in America today regarding the Church. It is very insightful and stimulating.

My mind is wandering down many different trails. But there is key point that should be the focus of our discussions of conducting an extreme makeover for the church. There are three key elements we have to coordinate to be effective.

First is a clear Christology. What is it we really believe about Jesus Christ? About the Bible? About the condition of man apart from Christ? About God the Father? About the future coming of Christ? So in other words, what is it we believe and how is that shown in our lives?

Second, what is our Ecclesiology? Ecclesiology is the study of the church. What do we believe about the church? What does the church look like in the Bible? What are the essentials for the church today? What forms do we hold on to in our churches that are not Biblically mandated? What is the context of our church and do we as a church fit our context?

Third, Missiology? What is our Mission? Whose mission is it? Are we in tune with the mission? Jesus Christ is the embodiment of that mission; the Holy Spirit is the power of that mission; the church is the instrument of that mission; and the culture is the context in which that mission occurs. Is there a way for us to fulfill the mission more effectively?

What do you think? I would be interested in hearing how you see the answers to these questions for your church and for you.

  • Tom
    Posted at 08:52h, 27 October

    Author Michael Frost points out that while we associate ecclesia with the church, it was a word that existed prior to its use by Christ. At times it referred to a general community meeting and one of those meetings he references was the gathering of elders at the city gate.
    When a member of the community was in need of guidance they would go to these elders for wisdom. It was a vital resource for the community and viewed as an incredible blessing.
    Frost believes this is what Jesus is referring to. Jesus was saying this is what his followers will be like in their communities. It fits well with the salt/light metaphor Jesus uses.
    Frost then asks if our communities would miss us if our churches suddenly left. Would they grieve the loss? Would they feel the loss of something important to the well being of the community?
    Personally I would like that to be true of our church but we aren’t there yet. Of course, some would be saddened if we suddenly left but I’m afraid many would hardly notice the difference.

  • Chris
    Posted at 23:57h, 21 November

    I too think that if our church suddenly left, people would be sad for our absence, but I also wonder how many would even notice.
    Our church sits on a highly traveled corner in Northeast Fort Wayne. I think about the people that drive by each day and wonder what kind of an impact we have on them. I am starting to understand the importance of clarity. Not only from church to community, but even within the walls of the church. Clarity of mission, clarity of vision, clarity of how those relate to a biblical model of “church”.
    Christology – We have to be careful to not blur the lines here. I believe that society has developed or created an invisionment (to use my own word) or description of Christ that isn’t accurate. It is the churches responsibility and calling to properly teach people about the God of the bible. The just and righteous God, the jealous God, the loving God. I am afraid that too many sugar coat the truth as to not scare anyone. If we view God as just a loving God and forget the righteous and just character side of Him, then haven’t we created an idol and I believe those will be rudely awakened come judgment day?
    I think that when it comes to showing Christ in our lives, we will be ones of action because of what we believe about Christ. If we say we believe in Christ and yet do nothing in our lives, do we really believe?
    Ecclesiology – I have been a part of a few churches in my short time that have functioned more as a country club rather than a church, always taking care of those inside the church and being too comfortable to worry about those outside. There is a Message series called “Faith In Action” it takes five weeks to go through and on the fifth Sunday, you shut the doors to the church and every person, member, active participant goes out into the community for some sort of service to the community. Then Sunday night you all meet back at the church to celebrate, eat, and share the stories of those you met and witnessed to. To me, that is what the church should be doing, living out their faith in action.
    Missiology – It’s the same for every church. “To Make Disciples.” Where we differ is the “how”. We each have our own resources and talents and gifts. We take what we have and fulfill the great commission. I truly believe that if we are not making disciples, then we are not being faithful.
    I pray that as we move forward as the church, that we move forward in the full knowledge of who God is, what he has called us to do and how we are to be the church.

Post A Comment