What kind of church shall we be?
A Facebook post got me to thinking about this question. Alan Hirsch, a leader in the Missional Church movement, asked “If the church is not being formed around the person and teachings of Jesus, what other forces are shaping it?”
There were a lot of responses, mostly of the cynical nature deriding churches for following worldly pursuits like individualism, nationalism, entertainment, politics and greed. But a couple of people tried to offer what they believed to be legitimate answers to Hirsch’s question, such as the teachings of the Apostle Paul or that the conditions of the society (especially locally).
As someone who grew up, was baptized and ordained in the Church of the Brethren I have to first say that I believe the answer should be “nothing”. However, the real answer might be: “perceptions about Jesus”. I guess what I’m trying to say is that too many people have ideas about the teachings and person of Jesus that are derived from something other than the whole life and entirety of the teachings of Jesus. As a result we have churches proclaiming a gospel of prosperity, a gospel of sin management, a gospel of exceptionalism, a feel good gospel and probably several others that I can’t think of.
So, what kind of church shall we be?
This week (January 15) I’ll begin a preaching series asking that question and I welcome input and questions as I proceed. Please join us!