The future of the Church!

 

Gospel+Church+Culture

Gospel+Church+Culture

If i was asked to give a 5 minute talk on the future of the Church I would talk about the need for 3 vital focuses to intersect with each other.

The first focus must be the purity of the GOSPEL. The gospel is central in the Scriptures and emphasizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the elect (1 Cor 15:1-8). The gospel is not a prosperity gospel or a social gospel but involves two key expressions.

The first is the incarnation of the gospel in the culture. John 1:14 says that, “The word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus incarnated himself in a foreign environment to identify with his creation and save us. In the same way, Jesus has called us to be salt and light in the world and “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:18-20). Incarnating Christ to the world requires a heart of compassion and brokenness for people far away from God.

The other expression of the gospel is the proclamation of the triumphant Jesus calling people to repent of their sin because they are sinners and Jesus is coming back again one day in fury to crush the winepress of the wrath of God upon the unrepentant (Rev 19:11-16). This part of the gospel doesn’t always get preached because it’s not very popular and too confrontational for some people. Yet it’s still the gospel and how will they hear if someone doesn’t preach to them (Rom 10:14).

The second focus must be the ministry of the CHURCH. The ministry of the Church is to be Christ-centered and Spirit-empowered. It’s be fueled by both the Word and the Spirit, not one or the other. If you only have the word, you’ll dry up. If you only have the Spirit, you’ll blow up but if you have the word and the Spirit you’ll grow up. The ministry of the Church is to be both missional and attractional. The church is to “Go and make” to fulfill it’s mission and the church is also called to invite people to “Come and see” who Jesus is. The gospel needs to be at the heart of what the Church is about and expressed in the third focus.

The third focus must be the people in the CULTURE. If the gospel isn’t preached and lived out in a contextual way to the people in the culture, then the church has no future. The ministry of the gospel through the church must be contextualized to the culture in which the church finds itself in. This allows for variances in ministry expression and activities because every cultural group is different and requires unique ministry. The message stays the same but the methodology must adapt to be effective. Jesus Christ connected with the people in the culture of his day. Be they tax collectors, sinners, disadvantaged people, women polarised by the culture, rich people and poor people. Jesus saved his best rebukes for self-righteous pharisees and i think we should do the same today.

Conclusion: The future of the Church requires Christian leaders everywhere to refocus the local church on these 3 key elements of Gospel + Church + Culture = Mission, if the church is to have a fruitful future. Otherwise the following takes place:

  • Gospel + Culture – Church = Parachurch
  • Culture + Church – Gospel = Liberalism
  • Church + Gospel – Culture = Fundamentalism

Lead the Change!

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