What is the Church – Part 2

Thursday nights chilling with brother Mark and the family of faith.  Always great fellowship and always fantastic discussion.

Tonight we are studying What is the church? Part 2See Mark’s BlogWhat is the Church – Part 3
Mark used this study guide, and Vintage Church as topic material.

8 Essential Attributes of the Church

  1. Doxological – Oriented towards the Glory of God the Father.
  2. Christological – Focused on Jesus Christ, the son of God.
  3. Pneumadynamic – Empowered and gifted by the Holy Spirit.
  4. Logocentric – Focused on the written word of God, the Bible.
  5. Covenantal – Gathered in “one-another” community.
  6. Confessional – United by a common personal and historical confession of faith.
  7. Missional – Both called and sent by God to proclaim and live the Gospel.
  8. Spatio-Temporal-Eschatological – Exists in a current (time) physical (space) reality while anticipating the hope of Christ’s return.

Worship
All that God commands, done in worship.  Nothing that God condemns.  Everything in between is prayerfully considered.

Preaching
☆ 4:12 (?) It’s serious stuff.
– By treating preaching with an overlapping comedy entertainment – we can present the word of God as secondary to being culturally relevant.  Essentially, by using only stories and jokes to make a point, you can accidentally portray your message more important than God’s word.
– Proof Texting; using the bible to back your own point instead of reading in it’s true, exegetical, systematic, timeless principal with true context.  It’s easy to preach your own thoughts when preaching topical.

Evangelism
☆ Matt 28:18-20 Make Disciples.
☆ John 20:21 The Father sent Jesus, Jesus sends us.
This can play out with Attractional Ministry and Missional Ministry.  Attractional Ministry is drawing people into an atmosphere where they can hear the gospel and are given a chance to respond.  Missional Ministry is going out to the lost and sharing the gospel assertively as an effort to bring people to God.
Generally the western church is way out of balance regarding how much attention is given to each sides of evangelical ministry, heavily favouring attractional ministry.
I (personally) find this very interesting!  As a person that works in the advertising industry I can see why the attractional ministry is favourable to the westerner as our western society has proven to respond excellently to attraction marketing.  Because of the cultural conditioning the western world lives in, a lost westerner may be more inclined to respond more positively with a general invitation such as a large sign out the front of a church that reads ‘Visitors welcome, come and hear the gospel today’, or an event that invites the community to join in like an Easter Egg hunt.  Our society is also conditioned by it’s somewhat mesasociality (I made that word up – it means inside soclial orientation).  Facebook, myspace, blogs, chat apps, email, are all essentially self attractional ministry.  We advertise ourselves within our network, and invite others to have an imput in a way that is not invasive or demands an immediate response.  I would speculate that this mesasocialty conditions the western mind to feel awkward in a situation where they are immediately confronted with a question by a person – demanding an immediate response.
My interest in this matter is inspired by a serious issue in the western church today.  How much attention is to be given to each, attractional and missional ministry.  A look at the bible quickly reveals that the disciples and the early church made missional ministry the main focus of evangelism.  Attractional ministry is undeveloped, in the sense that not a lot of thought was put into making it effectively attractional. It’s usually just Christians gate crashing some other religions party!  Which in itself is missional as well as attractional.  Probably the strongest of all early missions was Jesus’ signs and miracles.  All in all the bible itseld reflects a lot more missionary ministry than attractional.  Is the same balance to be applied to today?  Is this formula (-doing whatever they did back then) a legalistic or fundemental approach rather than a righteous, just approach?  Of course to answer these questions, much biblical, and contextual study is required.  But my simple speculation is this.  In any given situation observe what will be effective in your community and apply it.  All that God commands, done in worship.  Nothing that God condemns.  Everything in between is prayerfully considered.

Discipleship
Where does it happen?  In your devotional time, one-on-one christian fellowship, small groups settings, large group settings, from the pulpit, reading books?  Where does discipleship happen?  Life! Discipleship happens when we do life in the Holy Spirit and as a church!  Some times more intense than others. ☆ Gal 6:9-10 The church body is to constant care for the church body!  A good way to get an idea of what you can do for your family of faith is to do a word search on one another (each other).

UNTIL NEXT WEEK!

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