what do you think?

April 1, 2008

I’ve just spent another zany day in church-world.  Which is to say, the “world” of being a pastor.  (Something I try not to fess-up to very often.)  As such, I’ve been thinking about who God’s people might be & do, and how we might organize who we are and what we do …

Here’s the latest philosophical statement I wrote … and hate.  (But feel trapped into using because, hey, who’s saying anything better, in a way that fits our community?)

Philosophical Approach to Mission– As God has demonstrated through His progressive work of redemption in history and His specific revelation in Scripture, God can and sometimes does reveal Himself directly to humanity in a single memorable event or moment.  However, God’s typical pattern is to make Himself known to humanity over time through His chosen people, giving us many ways to hear, learn, and respond.[1]

When praying and laboring for the Gospel in a community, a city … or among a culture or ethnic group, we believe that a congregational, collective effort best reflects God’s intention for His people.  Though individual work and isolated initiatives may, at times, seem more efficient or productive, we believe them to be, ultimately, inadequate.  Only durable Kingdom partnership, through the collaboration of local church congregations, permits God’s people to be both a sign and foretaste of the Gospel they also labor for and bear witness to.

[1] I am indebted to Tim Keller & Phil Butler for pointing me to the Biblical concept that spiritual transformation is most normative as a process—not an event.  (Keller, Tim, Born of the Gospel, sermon at www.sermons.redeemer.com and Butler, Phil, Well-Connected.  www.connectedbook.net.)