April 23, 2013

Who Is "Church"? Pt. 1 What is "Church"? Who is Church for? The lost? The disciple? What are Sundays for? Many pastors jump right to the Great Commission and define "Church" through the lens of a "heaven and hell" crisis. The church invariable gets defined by what it does or what it ought to be doing. But with God, identity precedes activity. Adam and Eve were made in God's image before they were given a vocation. So, we need to ask what Church is...or more precisely, who Church is. Before we can begin to properly wrestle with this question, we need to zoom out all the way out and ask who Jesus is. How we think about Jesus and the salvation He brings affects the way you think of Church and our mission. To say it in theological language: Our Christology shapes our Soteriology; Our Soteriology shapes our Ecclesiology; Our Ecclesiology shapes our Missiology. Or in a series of questions: Who is JESUS? (Christology) What is SALVATION? (Soteriology) Who is CHURCH? (Ecclesiology) What is MISSION? (Missiology) -------------------- THIS IS HOW WE TEND TO THINK THROUGH THE LIST: Jesus = my personal Lord and Savior Salvation = forgiveness of sins and a ticket to heaven Church = a collection of saved individuals who pass time in the meantime Mission = optional extra credit OR: Jesus = my personal Lord and Savior Salvation = an escape from Hell Church = a lifeboat (functionally: God’s sales and marketing team) Mission = a mandate to rescue lost souls What results is an often frenetic pace of ministry, where the whole focus is on getting people to come to church or get saved. Songs and sermons are aimed at going "wide" on Sundays, while other "environments" are created for going "deep." But imagine if you ran your home this way:...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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