Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Gospel-Constructed Church

So how do we navigate the modern method maze? Is there a compass we can use that will lead us out? Is there a way to rise above the underbrush of synthetic ministry models so that we can get a bird's-eye view of the way forward?

What these and many other ministry models assume is that method isn't really all that important to God. "If it brings people to church or helps them feel like they've really worshiped on Sunday, it must be a good thing, right?"

When it comes to building a people for His own name and glory, God cares how we go about participating in His redemptive purposes . . . [T]he Gospel itself is God's constructive power for building the body of Christ. The Word builds the Church. Our power is not in having small groups, or meeting the felt needs of our target audience, or using the right evangelism program, or having funny skits, or providing plenteous parking, or targeting our ministries to postmoderns. Our power is in our unique message -- the Gospel (Greek, euangelion) -- not in our innovations. As such, our primary method must be to clearly communicate that message as widely as possible. Biblically, that means that we must faithfully preach it (Greek, euangelizo), fearlessly calling for repentance and belief as the only saving responses.

-- Mark Dever and Paul Alexander, The Deliberate Church

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