I heard Chuck Colson at this year’s Q gathering… he drew the best illustration I have seen yet about the church focusing only on the salvation part of the Gospel and neglecting the Redemption of Creation/Culture. It is simple – it passes the napkin test (I could draw it at Starbucks on a napkin and people would get it)! Here it is below:
Because of this interaction, I went back and re-read The Body, now retitled and updated as Being the Body, a book that has been in my library for some years. Check out this quote from page 275 of the original 1992 edition:
“The first Chrsitians worshipped God and lived as a holy community, conforming their character to the demands of Christ rather than Ceaser. They didn’t purpose to turn the first-century world upside down. They did so because of who they were. This character-oriented perspective is totally foreign to our achievement-oriented society, however, where we look at what people do rather than who they are. And it goes against everything in our consumer-oriented religious culture, where we pick and choose churches on the basis of fellowship or outreach programs or music or location or convenient parking. Rarely do we here [Christ-followers] say ‘I dedicded to join this church because of its characer as a holy community.’ Nor do most choose a church on the basis of its capacity to disciple and equip them for ministry. Yet that should be our first consideration. If the church is the Body, the holy presence of Christ in the world, its most fundamental task is to build communities of holy character. And the first priority of those communities is to disciple men and women to [growth] in Christ and then equip them to live their faith in every aspect of life and in every part of the world.”
That’s what I love about churches like The Orchard, and many others… God is awakening something within the Church today! A relaization that simply belonging to a weakly [sic] class or group, or particiapting in a program, doesn’t necessarily accomplish the church’s primary task of discipleship. But the combination of intentionality, an awareness of current culture, a simple approach, and authentic environments, can create world-changing disciples. I am excited about what God seems to be doing in churches around the world, and right here in the U.S.