Friday, 14 August 2009

Building Missionary Churches 4 - Don't settle for second best!

I agree with Howard Snyder in his paper to the Lausanne Congress when he said, “The Church is the only divinely-appointed means for spreading the gospel... further, evangelism makes little sense, divorced from the fact of the Christian community… The evangelistic call intends to call persons to the body of Christ - the community of believers, with Jesus Christ as its essential and sovereign head.”

Let’s not settle for second best. Let’s build mission focused churches, joined in heart to apostolic ministry so that together we can reach the nations.

While I sympathise with para-church leaders, or even the recent ‘emerging church’ leaders, in their desire to reach our generation and present Christ in a relevant way, and while I understand their frustration with the lack of mission effectiveness in church life, I have difficulty with their solution to the problem. I once attended a meeting with a number of senior leaders in the nation to discuss the ‘emerging church’ phenomenon. To my dismay, while I sympathised with their analysis of church life in our country, I found the suggested solution frightening - it seemed to be based more on being culturally sensitive, than on rediscovering New Testament Christianity.

Let’s get to the root of the problem and build mission focused communities, rather than trying to build an alternative structure, which perpetuates the issue.