Sunday, January 24, 2010

Boiling It Down to a Few Key Convictions

Notwithstanding my past posts and my past ministry experiences, I do recognize that God is in a variety of forms from the micro-church to the mega-church, from the organic to the organizational, and from the simple to the complex. Both extremes serve, in some ways, as critiques of each other, yet at this moment in church history, only in the complete picture of the both/are we able to clearly see the Kingdom.

I have become, however, committed to the following convictions which I believe apply across the board:

It is vitally important the church understands what it really means to be the church.

Church is not, at its essence, a place where certain things happen.

Church is, at its essence, God’s people/family on God’s mission.

Church is, in the broadest sense, all of Christ’s followers from throughout history and from all corners of the earth.

Church is, in its simplest form, plural for “Christ-follower.”

Church, as we have all experienced it, is not as healthy as God intended.

Every Christ-follower has contributed to the unhealthiness of the church because we are all, on some level, spiritually unhealthy.

Every Christ-follower who comes to experience himself/herself as God’s loved child is released to love other Christ-followers and to radiate God’s love to other humans.

The church is best described and understood by using family imagery, not business imagery.

Christ-followers should increasingly meet and act together within the context of their component family units instead of assuming that it is always best to segregate parents from their children.

Disciple-making and church-planting methodology must be flexible enough to penetrate urban and rural contexts, not merely suburban contexts, if the overall church of North America is to experience long-term future growth.

Every Christ-follower is a missionary to the culture in which he or she lives.

The church grows as the good news of the kingdom spreads like a viral infection.

In order to accomplish its mission, the church needs small, efficient “special forces” to accompany its large and impressive “armored personnel carriers” and “aircraft carriers.”