ENVISIONING THE CHURCH

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Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, writes: “the world we live in  is under siege—three billion are desperately poor, one billion hungry, millions are trafficked in human slavery, ten million children die needlessly each year, wars and conflicts are wreaking havoc, pandemic diseases are spreading, ethnic hatred is flaming, and terrorism is growing.  Most of our brothers and sisters in Christ in the developing world live in grinding poverty.  And in the midst of this stands the church of Jesus Christ in America, with resources, knowledge, and tools unequaled in the history of Christendom.  I believe we stand on the brink of a defining moment.”*

I agree.  I envision a church that reclaims our design and destiny as created in God’s image and participates in God’s plan to reclaim, restore or recreate all that is.  I envision a church that reflects the beauty of that image in the person of Christ, and that God empowers by his Spirit to carry on the very ministries of Christ.  I envision a church that follows Jesus Christ to the people, to all the people, in such desperate need, a church that finds a way to speak and act to address and eliminate the siege Stearns notes above.  I envision a church that understands the call to holiness and to make disciples in just these terms because that is most consistent with the clearest picture God gives us of what God has planned—the person of Jesus himself!

Such a church will step up, meet the challenges of the present moment, and give the world cause to wonder whether the message we preach isn’t good after all!

*Richard Stearns, The Hole in our Gospel, p. 238.

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    Hey Bishop Kendall, nice article! It reminds me a little of “putting our money where our mouth is”, or perhaps more to the point, “putting our ministry where our mouth is”. I’ve been reading about “missio dei” the past few years and I fully support the idea that God is engaged in a mission and we are invited to join Him in His work, whatever that is and wherever we are. I really appreciate the continual call our FM leadership is sounding to follow Christ to the world.

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