Tuesday, February 22, 2005

More on ministry and maintenance

John at Blogotional continues the discussion begun by Adam at Adventures in Following Jesus on mission or maintenance in ministry. John, along with Peter at Stronger Church, rightly points out that maintenance (i.e., edification and discipleship-building) are equally a part of our call in ministry, and in fact are part of the Great Commission.

The problem, I should have made more clear in my original post, is not with maintenance per se, but with the social-club mentality that so easily creeps into churches. Part of our emphasis should indeed be inward, but not simply to make ourselves more comfortable. Christians are called to be disciples, to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Update: Blogotional has more on the topic here.


Blogger Peter Bogert said...

We've been having a steady stream of new people visiting us over the last few months. Last night I asked our Elders to share any contacts that they had with new people. Point being that I want them - and all our people - to reach out to anyone in our church. The fellowship circle always has room for more. In those kinds of activities, one can continue to be the church (which, when gathered, seems - at least according to the NT - to be maintenance-focused) while building relationships to people who may not be in Christ.

7:10 AM, February 22, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for sharing this example, Peter. You're right that the NT shows the church together it's inward-focused: on God and each other. More than maintenance, however, our focus is on transformation. Peace.

10:07 AM, February 22, 2005  
Blogger John Schroeder said...

I agree that inward focus in not about comfort, but I have a somewhat different vision for church. I think church is to equip individual Christians, and is therefore, in a sense, primarily inwardly focused. Those individual Christians are to be the outward focus!

My full post is here

6:47 PM, February 22, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks, John. I'm updating my post to include your link. Peace.

7:09 PM, February 22, 2005  

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