A few of weeks ago, I met with my friend Mike McNichols, who is leading a missional church in Fullerton. You can check it out at Soulfarers.org.
He asked a question that’s been banging around in my head: What does the church offer that makes it unique from any other organization or group? What a great question! It’s so easy to get muddled in all of the “stuff” that makes up being the church that we can lose sight of the forest because of the trees.
So what makes us unique as God’s sent people?
Is it spiritual formation? If we’re primarily about becoming better people, then we become just another form of self-actualization or self-help like Oprah or Dr. Phil.
Is it community? If we’re primarily about becoming a family or a close group of friends, then we’re just another form of social club.
Is it mission? If we’re primarily about doing good to others like building houses or benevolence, then we’re just another form of the Rotary club or other humanitarian organization.
So what makes us unique? What are we primarily about? As I keep reading through the New Testament, I’m struck with its message — God loves us so much that he has made his life and kingdom available through his Son.
It was Jesus’ message, “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
It was Paul’s message, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
It was Peter’s message, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
It was John’s message, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Let’s talk more about the kingdom next time…