Monday, February 9, 2009

Community, Ministry and Evangelism

As we go through the 40 Days of Purpose it is easy to see each of the five purposes as being separate from one another. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Each purpose interacts with the other purposes. Those who see this and allow all five purposes to influence their decisions and actions will find themselves being more fulfilled then the rest of the world.

Right now I am reading the Book Essential Church? by Tom S. Rainer and Sam S. Rainer III. Here is something I just read. You can see that in this instance three of the purposes (fellowship, ministry and evangelism) work together to produce healthy Christians and a healthy church.

"The people of the church must make a conscious decision to stop looking inwardly and begin to reach outwardly. An inwardly focused church community is a dying community because they are letting go of the bond that holds them together.

A vital church community centers on the message of Jesus Christ and the going and telling of that message to those in the community outside of the church. In other words, an essential church community is a sacrificial church community that surrenders time and convenience for the sake of telling others about Jesus Christ. Get people fired up about the Great Commission and watch a strong church community unfold.

This mode of thinking is counterintuitive, but it's true: a missional church [a Great Commission Church] thinking outwardly is a healthy church inwardly. When churches begin to focus on how to reach the community instead of spending all their time on existing programs and people, the current poeople of the church grow stronger. Totally neglecting the current ministries, people, and programs is not the point. Rather, by shifting the focus of these ministries and people outward, the exisiting relationships among people are strengthened. When the people of the church proclaim the message of Jesus to the world, the glue of the church community holds the members more tightly to one another."

Chew on that and tell me what you think.

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