Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Jesus" in the eyes of people outside the church

This is a great Youtube video interviewing young people to ask them what they think about Jesus.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A New Imagination for the Church?

I came across a good article by David Dunbar, president of Biblical Seminary, about the need for “A New Imagination for the Church” on his Missional Journal website.

Missional Journal

I am posting a few excepts below…I encourage you to go read the original article.

In the last issue of the Journal I suggested that the challenge
for Christians in the West is re-imagining the shape of the
church and its ministry in a post-Christendom environment
where it must function on the margins of (worldly) power.
What will such churches look like? Are there any obvious
patterns that will characterize their structure and function?

1. Missional is not McChurch
Since the 1990s the term "McChurch" has referred to a
consumer-oriented Christianity which pursues church growth
by offering more and better spiritual goods and services.
Sometimes the notion of franchising is even included, i.e. the
practice of marketing to the larger Christian community the
programs, practices, or strategies of churches regarded as
particularly successful.

The problem with this approach is that it is not
missiologically sound. It doesn't take into consideration the
fact that the medium and the way the message is presented
will vary, at least in emphasis, from one local context to the
next. Most Christians recognize the need for missionaries to
translate or contextualize the gospel in appropriate ways to
specific cultures--our churches need to do the same.

As the church confronts wide-spread cynicism about the
Christian message, the gospel displayed will give credence
to the gospel declared.

I don't want to argue for missional to the exclusion of all
attractional aspects of current church practice. Many people
are drawn to the church by good preaching, good programs,
and fine facilities. The problem is that 1) many of those
attracted (not all) will be disgruntled members of other
churches and 2) the percentage of the population who can be
reached in this way is rapidly shrinking.

In the culture of late modernity many churches adopted a
corporate model for leadership, decision-making, and
planning. Pastors became CEOs, elders (or deacons)
transformed themselves into corporation directors, and topdown,
vision-driven planning became the order of the day.

It is a sign of biblical-theological health that this paradigm
is being questioned in the missional church movement.

To read the entire original article, click on the link below.