Tuesday, April 08, 2008

THE MISSION: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

A.W. Tozer put it best when he said, "We must not think of the Church as an anonymous body, a mystical religious abstraction. We Christians are the Church and whatever we do is what the Church is doing. The matter, therefore, is a personal one. Any step forward in the Church must begin with the individual." (From "The Knowledge Of The Holy"; pg.114.)

When we speak of "The Church" we're talking about our own family. So, whenever we at The Mission feel compelled to point out something "wrong" the Church is doing, we have to stop and realize that we're talking about something we are eternally still part of.

One thing I think would help would be to use the word, "We" whenever we feel compelled to point out something another church or leader is doing that troubles us instead of the word "they". Why? Because these are things all of us have also participated in. Plus, if we say, "Sometimes we act this way or do these things" then the focus stays on us. It forces us to look at ourselves, the log in our own eye, rather than that speck in our brother's eye.

We are the church, and so, it's more helpful to just admit, "We do this" or "We used to do that" and keep the focus on ourselves. That way we can quickly move on to what we've learned from those mistakes and talk about whether or not we're actually putting any of what we've learned into practice.

Let's try hard to keep the focus of our share times on encouragement and whenever we do share criticism let's get quickly back onto the road of exploring what we can learn and what we can do, right now, to take those lessons we've learned from our own mistakes and apply them in our lives.

One of our stated values at The Mission is that we will not spend any time tearing down the rest of the Body of Christ. I'm not picking on any one person here. In fact, I know I'm probably more guilty than anyone else here. So, please help to keep me accountable to this important value.

You and I are the people of God. We are the Church that He has assembled for these times. We are the Church called to make a difference in this day and to this culture.

We are the Church God has chosen to love others in a way that no one has ever seen before. We are the Church that God has entrusted to be His ambassadors to the world.

In the four walls on Sunday, and outside the four walls the rest of the week, we are the Church. At home, in line at the Grocery store, at work, at school, in fact, everywhere you are, there you will find that Church.

We are the Church. The only Church the world will ever know.

So, now, let’s go and be the church we dream of.

Love,
Keith

1 comment:

Lynnea said...

Well written article.