Wednesday, July 01, 2009

How I Got Here - Church Pt. 1

Alright, I'm pretty sure that this is the last article from Cutting Edge that I'll be mentioning. This one was taken from a message presented by Todd Hunter, then the National Director of Vineyard Churches, in 1999. It's called "The Church that I Would Build."

This article first introduced me to Stanley Hauerwas' and William Willimon's book Resident Aliens, which, if I were listing "shaping" books, would be near the top of the list. It's the idea that this world is not our home, but, instead of looking at that idea as simply a longing to be with God forever in heaven one day, it's a missionary strategy. We are exiles in this world, which means that we cannot influence culture through the world's power. We have to be subversive (more on that in a later post).

Here are some of the themes of this article. Even as I write them, I find it pretty incredible how many of them have become core values for the way I've done ministry for the last ten years.
  • The Kingdom (reign) of God
  • Being a missional church - we are a "sent" people
  • The Gospel should have a profound impact on the church. Here's a quote: "The church that I would build would be a community of Christians who believe the Gospel so much that they actually order their lives around it."
  • Church = Counter-cultural community - if we are living out the Gospel in a tangible way, we're going to automatically look different. As we do this, we should be compelling to those around us.

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