A Couple of Links on the Purpose of the Church

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A few days ago I posted a quote on the purpose of the church, particularly church growth, and between the comments to that post, Twitter, and my RSS reader, I’ve found a few to add to it.

First, Jimmy Davis, a former student (for one year of Hebrew) and now an associate pastor in Texas, provided a link to his article, When Your Church is Really Parachurch. The critical conclusion:

Organizations, much like individuals, are prone to have “me-first-hearts” rather than “you-first-hearts.” I am not saying that organization is bad or unnecessary; indeed, it is necessary and good (the first six chapters of Acts describe how the church organized itself as it grew). But the attitude of the church’s pastors, programs, polity, and place toward the church’s people should always be one of “at your service.” As I examine my own experience in the pew and the pastorate I am convinced that though Jesus has called the organization to serve the organism, I and many others have led our churches to have an “organization-first-heart.” Our churches must learn to live the cruciform life of dying to the glory and good of the organization in order to live for the glory of God and the good of people.

Jimmy has a book coming out soon, Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life which he says will be released April 1st (no foolin’!). (No, I’m not the publisher on this one!)

Pastor Steven Furtick (I’m not sure where I gleaned this from), admonishes us to be fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium. It’s an excellent way to make the point! I have often noted how churches that concentrate on taking care of the people inside tend to diminish. Often in order to properly care for those inside you need to be looking outside.


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