Skip to main content

The Cutting Edge of the Church

A year or so ago one of NZ's top surgeons came to speak at Carey Baptist College.  A staunch and thoughtful Christian, he was asked by the interviewer at one stage, "what is it that future church leaders in this room can do to support people like you in their work?"  He looked genuinely shocked by the question, "I have always felt that pastors were far more intereted in how I could support their ministry than in helping me in mine." 

I preached an experimental message yesterday evening on Eph 4:1-14.  It was a pretty simple message really, that Jesus has given apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers to the church to edify the church to do God's work in the world.  Or put another way, it is not the job of the church to support the ministry of the pastors, but the job of the pastors to support the ministry of the church.  It is not the minister, or the youth pastor, or whoever else happens to be on stage on a Sunday meeting that is the cutting edge of the church, it is everyone else, those who spend their days at work, in school, or making home in the neighbourhood. Beyond this basic attitudinal shift what can we do to reorient church away from the ministry of those upfront on Sunday towards the ministry of everyone's everyday lives?

Let me know what you think :-)

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jonathan,
    Yeeeesss. I agree.
    A Brethren friend of mine is of the opinion that going to church is not a matter of following a mission statement and various programmes to join, but rather a chance to support and nuture the congregation through teaching and singing and fellowship in order that they may go and live in the world.

    I think there's something in that. There's more I'd add, but it's too flaming late to get into it now :).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Ali, that is a good way of putting it. And we certainly have to guard against church being an all consuming activity that gives us no spare time or energy for engaging with the outside world, in that case we are more cult than church. however programs that empower christians to do that engagement and provide avenues to move contact with others into disicpleship of others i think are very important, as long as the programs do not become the objective. sorry to keep you up late!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Addictive Power of End Times Speculation

The mighty Rhett Snell has picked up his blog again (I wonder how long he'll last this time), check out his theory on why people get so into annoyingly unbiblical end times nonsense.

I think that where codes-and-calendars end times theology is dangerous, is that it can give a sense of false growth. We read a theory online, or hear it from some bible teacher, and we come to think that we have mastered an area of our faith. A bit like levelling up in a computer game, or Popeye after he’s eaten some spinach. At worst, we begin to believe that we’ve taken a step that other Christians have not; that we’ve entered an elite class of Christianity.

Wars and Rumours of Wars

I write in the morning after the USA 2016 Elections, which featured the historic election of Donald Trump. Apart from my personal interested as a resident of planet Earth at this time, it is interesting to note some of the apocalyptic language emerging in discussions of what this means. Even archaeologists are turning to the medium of prophecy. Hear the word of Tobias Stone,
So I feel it’s all inevitable. I don’t know what it will be, but we are entering a bad phase. It will be unpleasant for those living through it, maybe even will unravel into being hellish and beyond imagination. Humans will come out the other side, recover and move on.  Stone suggests that future historians will be able to draw clear lines from Brexit to Trump to the 3rd World War, or something equally bad. Mind you, just because historians can draw those lines doesn't mean they are here.

Then there is the word of Thom Hartman who is more interested in the domestic fallout than the fallout shelter. 
The last …

The false link between suicide and mental illness

One characteristic of human society is the tendency to keep doing something over and over again despite it not working. One example would be our approach to incarcerating criminals to punish them instead of rehabilitating them, compounding their trauma and making it harder for them to live productive law-abiding lives when they get out. But this is the "common-sense" approach, the intuitive human response to the failings of others, punish them and they wont dare do it again. It has never worked, ever, but let's keep doing it. Secular society is screwed because it cannot comprehend that its vision is blurred by sin and therefore knee-jerk, common sense solutions are usually destructive and counter-productive.

So it is with our response to suicide. To kill yourself must be the response of the weak minded and sick - so the thinking goes - so to combat rising suicide we treat individuals medically. Yet suicide is a perfectly rational response to a world as broken as ours and…