The first Reformation was about freeing the church. The new Reformation is about freeing God’s people from the church (the institution).
People outside the church bubble are not waking up on Sunday morning hoping to find a church they can help make successful. If they do come to church, they are looking for a platform to run their lives on. They are not interested in creating institutional success.
When people express interest in our church, what is our hope for them?
Do we hope they will step into positions of leadership to carry the mantel?
Do we hope they will find a meaningful community of empowerment to live as a follower of Jesus?
The point is, absent a missiological center, North American theological reflections can easily drift toward figuring out who’s right and who’s wrong rather than who’s going with the gospel, who’s listening, and who’s responding.
What is the subject of most church conversations that you hear?
Missionaries understand that being culturally relevant is critical to an evangelism strategy… Only people without a missiology disdain attempts at being culturally relevant.
The point is not to adopt the culture and lose the message; the point is to understand the culture so we can build bridges to it for the sake of gaining a hearing for the gospel of Jesus.
What is your understanding of the relationship between Christ and culture?
This new Reformation, turning members into missionaries, will precipitate a crisis, both in individuals and in a congregation. Member values clash with missionary values.
Member values are all about church real estate, church programming, who’s in and who’s out, member services, member issues (translated: am I getting what I want out of this church?).
Missionary values are about the street, people’s needs, breaking down barriers, community issues (translated: am I partnering with God’s work in people?).
Which set of values is driving our congregation?