Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Shaping of Things to Come Part 2

From page 11 and 12 of Shaping of Things to Come: "The missional church is a community where all members are involved in learning to become disciples of Jesus.” and "The church understands itself as different from the world because of its participation in the life, death, and resurrection of its Lord.” I like this definition (as opposed to membership of an institution or regularly attending church or ministering in a charity…) for how we stand out from the world. I’m delighted with the concept that everyone who is really saved is a part of this, and is involved and growing (this is the definition of Church to which everyone agrees, but how many good Baptists do you know who wouldn't in practice add regular attendance or 'coming forward' or membership?).

Without being more described, though, I fear that point the following would drown out the discipleship indicated above: “Worship is the central act by which the community celebrates with joy and thanksgiving both God’s presence and God’s promised future.” While the truths about worship indicated in the terminology are refreshing, I hesitate at the word ‘central,’ worrying that worship (singing, or from a Christendom perspective, ‘worship service') would be elevated in these emergent/missional congregations above teaching and prayer and fellowship, which are much more obviously taught as the activities of the New Testament Church.

To God be all glory.

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