Friday, April 29, 2011

A great read

A great read from Internet Monk, regarding a recent church plant and some of the concerns that IM has about their list of reasons 'not' to join their mission.

One of IM's responses could be said about many evangelical churches, and is a good reminder we all need to keep in the front of our minds:
EIGHT: This approach is all about mission and methods and says nothing about the church’s message. The folks planting this church, in my opinion, are giving people the wrong idea of what they should be offended about. They are giving them every reason to be offended about how the church will operate, and no reason for being offended about what the church stands for—the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If Mr. Buzzard really wants to give people good reason to avoid this church plant, it should be because they are going to preach Jesus, Jesus, and nothing but Jesus. They are not going to focus on “practical” ideas for life or “relevant” topics that people might be interested in. They are going to pursue theological depth with respect for historical Christian traditions and teachings. It might even get boring for the kids (and adults) once in awhile. Oh my. This church is going to offend human pride by telling people there is nothing anyone can do to earn God’s forgiveness or be counted part of his family—that’s what they should be saying. They should be up front about their plan to welcome people into the community who are sinners, with all kinds of problems, who will be difficult to get along with and hard to love. If you join this church, Buzzard should tell people, you should expect to get your feelings hurt on occasion because we are all selfish and we are going to fail you. We will have to live by forgiveness or we won’t make it. A person might feel uncomfortable in this congregation because we are going to allow folks to express doubts. We are going to make room for lament and accept people who are angry with God. He should say, “We are going to be real here—we are going to deal with real life, a real God, and a real message of Good News for sinners, and some of you may not be able to take that.”

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