God’s Mission Has A Church

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What? How often do we mix this up? This past weekend we shared a little bit more about life in the orphanage at Fedja and the proposed solution to the problems they are experiencing there. The solution, proposed by GVCM director Yves Prophete, is the planting of a church next door to the orphanage.

What kind of implications does this have for our understanding of church? What if the local expressions of the church were simply a means to end and not the end in and of themselves? Thatis, the church just might be God’s means of accomplishing his mission, the in-breaking of his Kingdom, in our world. Perhaps the church can begin asking the question: How are we to be involved in what God is doing in the world?

After seeking God’s answer to the above question we can then discover what the church looks like. What do you think? Could this be true?

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9 thoughts on “God’s Mission Has A Church

  1. Paul,
    I often wonder what would happen if local churches would rise up and begin to meet the needs of those around them…the very people that sometimes beg only a few feet from the church’s building doorstep. Working in child welfare, I have this somewhat “Utopian” view that if the church would rise up and begin to meet the needs of those around them, I would be looking for another job. There would be no need for child welfare organizations, homeless shelters and non-profit food banks. The church, the body of Christ that is, has the resources and ability to meet needs. Why is it that we so soon forget that even less than 100 years ago, this is exactly what local bodies did!

  2. I wonder if we don’t fall prey to a “gnostic” idea that separates the world into two categories, spiritual and physical, which are completely separate and distinct. This keeps evangelism and social action separate from the other. Issues of justice and spirituality should not exist in different spheres but work in each area should inform the work in the other.

  3. Listening to stories my mom tells about growing up, it sounds like rural communities were a lot better at helping one another…If someones tractor broke down or someone got sick, people would pitch in and do the work for them or have a “barn raising”. Think we need to be aware of the needs close to home AND globally…

  4. I like Todd’s comments. I see the body of our church has alot of folks such as Todd and I can’t help but believe that God’s placed us all together for a reason. I agree we need to be doing more to meet the needs of those around us, and our social service people who are plugged in can see firsthand how we can do that. I also see we’ve got a global perspective via the Afghanistan family and this Haiti connection. But fear we may get a bit dilluted at our size trying to do it all and do it all big. But..then again, we do serve a BIG God who may want to do God-sized things through our body here. We first must seek His face on all of this or we’ll just be chasing after the wind and the latest thing that’s moved us. “Unless the Lord builds it, the builders labor in vain.”
    Kim, I agree about the small farm community. I grew up in such a community and it did take care of its own well. Harvesting another’s crops when there was a crisis. Bringing food, and meals. Providing half a side of beef to the pastor (you up for that Paul?), and more. Social services were not needed unless the family had too much pride to ask their neighbor for help. Also, people just went without. We live in such a wealthy nation, we don’t know the poverty of nations like Haiti.

  5. I like all of the comments here and find a bit of my own views in each of them. Paul’s mention of the gnostic view clarifies how those two thoughts were ever seperated.

    I’ve always felt an urgency to show others how those two directly relate. I’ve aligned myself with 2 other groups of global interest because they live this very idea. I’m on board for Haiti now, too.

    Just last night Mason and I went to Village Inn (I know, I know). I noticed how hard the waitress was working and I thought about her stressful job, wondered why she kept it, thought about how she probably never gets a raise or a bonus…. I left her big fat tip and walked out to avoid embarassment for both of us. Then I thought of how ridiculous it is that I’m worn out and work so hard so I can support her working so hard.

    I went home and read some, thought some and prayed. EVERYONE is working so hard these days…sometimes at the expense of our spirit! As a society we give top priority to our physical wants/needs. I wonder what would happen if we equally valued quality time spent on the spirit?

    Maybe we inadvertently perpetuate this gnostic-roots idea here in the States. Then, yeah, we really don’t know how to help others. We are worn out spiritually AND we don’t want to part with our physical stuff.

    Life is so much larger than our immediate surroundings. We can not exhaust ourselves individually so there is nothing left to give locally, globally. There is so much need everywhere we look.

    I pray daily that God will continually give me hope for this stuff. I know he doesn’t want what I don’t have…he only wants what I do have. I pray that I will know and find a balance for my own life in all of this stuff. I am excited, because I know He will futher equip me as I ask.

    Again, I am so thankful to know a community that lends thought and action to these things.

  6. Jesus says that He is the Vine and we are the branches. If we abide in Him then the Father will do good works through us.

    The key then is what does “abiding in Him” practically mean? Cause if we nail that one, we will be doing what the Father wants by default cause it’s not us doing it but the Father.

    In our abiding in Christ, the “mind of Christ” will think on our behalf, without us actually trying to figure it out. Your task is to discern whether Yves Prophete is on this path instead of thinking what is the position of the Church.

  7. Pingback: The times they are a changin' (Part Three) at The Todd Blog

  8. Pingback: The times they are a changin’ (part three) at The Todd Blog

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