Mike Cope's blog

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

From Darrell Guder in TREASURES IN CLAY JARS: It may seem more than obvious that the Bible should stand at the center of the missional church. Virtually every Christian tradition affirms the centrality of Scripture to the Christian church. In theory at least, the sermon preached every Sunday is a proclamation of the biblical word. Certainly all of the congregations under review would make such affirmations and expect such preaching from their ministers. There is a problem, however, It is possible to be biblically centered, to expect and to experience biblical preaching, and not to be a church that acknowledges, much less practices, its missional calling. This is the crisis and the dilemma of much of the Western church. It is possible to study the Scriptures in such a way that its central emphasis upon formation for mission is missed. It is possible to hear the gospel primarily in terms of what God's grace does for me, or for you. It is possible to take the Bible seriously, persuaded that it is primarily about one's personal salvation. It is possible to preach the Bible in such a way that the needs of persons are met but the formation of the whole community for its witness in the world is not emphasized. It is, in short, possible to be Bible-centered and not wholeheartedly missional. Dallas Willard has said that our churches are full of converts who do not intend to become disciples. Another way to put it would be this: Our churches are full of people who are there to receive the benefits of grace without knowing that they are receiving such blessings "in order to be a blessing."

8 Comments:

  • "Everyone wants a savior. Few want a Lord."

    Convicting post bro. Ruthless.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 11/10/2004 08:29:00 AM  

  • Amen!

    Lesslie Newbrigin states that the greatest heresy in monotheism (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) is cherishing clause A ("I will make you a great nation, I will bless you") of the Abrahamic call while forgetting, suppressing, or ignoring clause B ("so that you will be a blessing").

    By Blogger c, at 11/10/2004 08:32:00 AM  

  • Last wednesday in a Bible class the teacher passed around a shoe box full of money. Everyone was instructed to take out $12 or so. We were then given the instruction to use the money to further God's kingdom. The point being, we shouldn't have to treat this money any different than the rest of the money God blesses us with. It has caused me to really think about how to be missional with this little bit of money. Just wondering how others might spend $12 to further the kingdom? Great post!

    By Blogger TCS, at 11/10/2004 11:39:00 AM  

  • TCS - Just wondering how others might spend $12 to further the kingdom?

    Here I go again. Take a single parent to lunch. Take a single parent and kids to a discount shoe store. Invite a single parent and kids to a movie, live or Blockbuster type. Buy extra makings for dinner, and invite a single parented family to join your family. Put gas in a single parent's car. Give a single parent $12 worth of quarters for laundry washers and dryers. Buy a kid's Bible for someone.

    Then there are those things that don't cost even $12. Help a single parented family child with home work - or - accompany them to band practice, or football practice, or to Father/Son dinner at school, or maybe a Mother/Daughter when that parent is not in the home. Have an in-home Bible study with a single parented family, bringing your kids too. Babysit a single parented family's kids, giving mom/dad an afternoon or evening of respite from their constant load of duties, just to name a few.

    As you'll notice, I'm a bit tunnel visioned about single parented families. ;)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 11/10/2004 11:54:00 AM  

  • Great post, Mike. I find it truly sad that we're having to add "missional" in front of Christianity and church.

    I also find it interesting that your dessert post gets 37 posts and this one only has 5 so far.

    By Blogger Phil, at 11/10/2004 01:32:00 PM  

  • I wish there were a way for all Christians to truly understand the "missional" concept. It's something we've heard in our body, but no one "got it".

    It was disappointing to say the least.

    How do we get the church to understand and implement missional things. I agree that it is sad that we have to use the word missional in front of Christianity or church when that is its essence. Being a missionary to the world, including the people in our community. That our building ain't the place to reach people as well anymore.

    I been listenin' to Mark Love too much...ha ha ha!

    By Blogger Big Mike Lewis, at 11/10/2004 09:45:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the challenging post. I think sometime the reason people are posting after a challenging post like this is because we are "chewing on it". And we know it is not polite to talk with our mouths full.

    As for the 12 dollars here my 2 cents worth:

    -Buy fast food gift certificates to give to homeless people.
    -Take a foster parents kids to McD's or better yet on a picnic
    -Buy a CD for someone who needs a lift.
    -Give it to a family who has a person who has been in the hospital for a while - in change for the vending machines
    - Or buy them a phone card

    I have great ideas with someone elses $12. I seem to be more stingy with mine. Anyone know the himelich? I am choking on today's post!

    By Blogger Steve Duer, at 11/11/2004 05:39:00 AM  

  • GREAT IDEAS, Steve! Wow--I am saving those. I know they won't change the world, but I like the thought of some of those. Thanks!

    Great post, Mike. Thanks for letting me just send people to you today instead of write something myself! You da man.

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 11/11/2004 08:36:00 AM  

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