Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beyond Existence

This will be the final entry on the reasoning behind how the church has gotten to where it is in America. Let me start with a veiled disclaimer, less veiled now that I have stated it. I am grateful for the contributions of churches like Willow Creek and Saddleback. I also need to say that the way other people used those ministries and ministries like them created the corporate church which was driven by attendance numbers. This produced a church culture which I bought into for years, that was all about increasing the numbers, even if we were not doing the mission of Christ.

This understanding of church became entrenched and church became another business in America, complete with the movers and shakers, flashy marketing, and high powered conferences. I am not against moving and shaking, I am not against flashy marketing or high powered conferences. I do have a problem when that becomes the goal above the mission of Jesus Christ. The church in America became a multi-billion dollar industry in America, and lost sight of the call of God on the church.

Time has come to reclaim this call. We have seen this in recent years as some of the heavy hitters, Willow and Saddleback have studied places like Mosaic and this thing called the missional church. The missional church in and of itself is not the key. Rather, it is the thought pattern that we ought to be on the journey of faith in such a ways that compels us to function as Christ calls us. The whole point of the church is mission, not existence. Existence is the goal of business, transformation of the world for the sake of Christ is the mission of the church. This too could fall pray to the business of the church if we are not careful.

So how do we keep the focus? Vigilance by those in leadership. We must consistently be keeping the mission in front of the church, as well as pushing the edge. The champion of existence is the status quo. Leadership must constantly challenge the status quo, and constantly challenge the church. In the old days this was called be prophetic. Prophets call the people of God beyond existence into mission. Calling all prophets.

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