Monday, February 7, 2011

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 :-)


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  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 :).

  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!