Friday, July 08, 2005

The Church of Irresistible Influence

I am halfway through The Church of Irresistible Influence and I really like it. I have read about 5 missional church books that are very strong on the sociological dimension of what the church needs to be about in our changing context, but this book gives a more concrete example of how a church in Little Rock, AR is becoming an influence in their community.

I think we all sense there is something changing about our world. We have heard about our shift to a postmodern, postchristian, postdenominational, and every other post you could imagine kinds of world, but the true question we must ask is, "How can we be faithful to God in the church's new place in society?" I don't care what you call the next great thing in the church, but I certainly don't want to be a part of any fad or movement without it being God's real plan for the world. However, I don't see the missional church as a fad because I believe it is a call for all churches to make God's mission our mission. It doesn't call us to growth, it calls us to faithfulness. It doesn't call us to power, it calls us to the wisdom of the cross that beckons us to come and die to our desire for power. The church has always needed to take this as its call.

Sometimes I am too accepting of books and don't read them with a critical enough eye, but I believe the missional literature and The Church of Irresistible Influence to be books that are calling to the church to faithful living beyond itself. That is good news and a good direction for any church.

Father, we know you want people to be saved. That is your character. Help the church to be a community that doesn't become a fortress against the world, but becomes a bridge for the wrold. Some people might come to the church, but so many more need to the church to come to them because of a variety of factors. Let us become a seeking people who receive your kingdom and help to further it as you allow us to. Amen!

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