Friday, August 15, 2008

church gathered and the church scattered, cont.

continuing our thoughts of yesterday concerning the church gathered and the church scattered, i wanted to further unpack the idea of an incarnational church.

the church incarnational means that the church becomes part of its context. the church is
embedded, or an integral part of the surrounding whole. of course, the incarnation of jesus is the model here. jesus became part of our world, becoming one of us. likewise, as we follow the christ, the church is to also becomes part of its context.

but here's the thing. to be embedded in the context does not mean we take on the characteristics of the context. it is the idea of
in the world but not of the world. the way to think about this is to know the difference between a sub-culture and a counter-culture. a sub-culture is at odds with the dominant & surrounding culture is only minor ways, whereas a counter-culture is at odds with the dominant culture in very significant ways.

i'll let you think about where the church in the west currently rests on the
in but not of question, but the point i want to make is that we must not be afraid. we can't stay huddled in the enclave of the church walls. the church is not the field. said another way, the focus of the missional church must ultimately be external. if our focus is always and only how to maintain and enhance the "clubhouse," then we fail at the clear calling of the christ, and whatever we are, we are not incarnational.
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