Saturday, December 17, 2011

Phillip Jensen on the purpose of church

Simone has posted this interesting article from The Briefing website by Phillip Jensen called What is Church For?

There are some good points in it. It seems to be directed mainly at those in paid pastoral ministry, but I think it has plenty of application to those of us who don't fit into that category as well.

Since I'm tired at the moment and lose concentration after the first few paragraphs of anything requiring some thought that I try to read, the part I found most thought-provoking was in the second paragraph. This was about how spending all our time in church, with church people, and running church activities can get in the way of evangelism. I worry sometimes that this is the case in our church. I don't think it's intentional, but it's easy to justify not doing evangelistic activities because we're too busy keeping the church activities happening from week to week.

He goes on to suggest that viewing the church as being for evangelism is like looking at things the wrong way around. He argues that evangelism should be happening out in the world, and it is through this activity that the church (and not necessarily our particular church community, but churches generally) are built up.

Interesting stuff. Worth looking at but probably good to make sure your brain is switched on before you read it.


simone r said...

I've consciously spent heaps more time this year with non-christians than I have before. At times I've felt my church relationships have suffered. Really hard to do both.

Sarah said...

I heard a pastor say the reason we often find it difficult to catch up with both church and non-Christian friends is that we tend to see them separately. He suggested involving other people in tasks we often do by ourselves i.e. instead of trying to revamp your garden on your own or just with your family (which would take longer), invite a stack of people around and get them to help you and maybe offer them lunch or something. That way the task gets done quicker, you get to socialise, friends from different social circles get a chance to mix and hopefully evangelism will result out of that. Something I'm considering trying rather than feeling evangelism is a kind of scary burden.