Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Preaching With Vision

Sorry blogworld, however big or small you might be, for my lack of writing lately. It is hard to balance blogging and schoolwork. But I still want to continue the conversation with those of you out there.

I am looking forward to the Missional Church Conference coming up in a few weeks. For one weekend, I will get to spend time with many from Churches of Christ and outside, as well as my dad, discussing a model for church for this century. And this leads me to my current quandary.

Right now, I am thinking a lot about the church. Many around me do not have much hope for the church. My generation has seen the corruption and poor focus of the many churches and have lost all hope for the institution, but I refuse to do this. Sure, the church is made up of humans that distort what it was intended for and the media will continue to highlight these excesses, but I will continue to hold out and hope that God will use the church in the future.

Many my age our putting hope in planting house churches and doing missions. These are important things and need to be done; However, if we forget about the current church and do not think about how to make the bride of Christ more faithful, we are jettisoning an important avenue that God has worked through for so many years. I have a vision for the church and I am excited to think more about this vision as I begin grad school in the spring. These are formative years and I look forward to dreaming and praying that God will continue to give me a vision for the church.

But as I think about this I wonder, whose job is it to set a vision for the church? Is it right for me to dream of a vision for the church and come in and institute that vision in the life of a church? Should that task be for the preacher to decide, the elders, or the congregation? I don't want to be presumptuous and think I am the only one in a church God can speak to, but I am excited about this part of preaching. I see a church in the future that can be used by God as he furthers his kingdom. I see a church in the future more concerned about the lost than internal matters. I see a church in the future that is less homogeneous. I see a church in the future that is less concerned with meeting felt needs and more concerned with meeting real needs of people.

This is an exciting time for me and I look forward to working with a community to make these things happen.


Travis Stanley said...

I think that the preacher should have a bigger role, as you suggest, in dreaming up the direction his or her local congregation should head towards. But such dreaming should never be done in isolation from the rest of the Church community. Preachers and other ministers should not force their agenda for the church on the congregation, but should pastorally lead them towards the place they believe God has called that church to be. Or, something like that.

Nice blog, by the way.

You know who! said...

Ah Collen. You must be talking about me. Do I get you down sometimes? I hope my occasional cycnicism does not make you think I am afraid of the church. No no my good man. I believe that underneith all cynicism and pessemism lies extreme optismism and vision...Is that enough ism's and sion's for you? Hey I whole heartedly love the church. In fact I hate to imagine the world without the CoC. Its tough. But we need to lighten up a bit. Sometimes I think we take ourselves too seriously. We need to open our world to something more than our own vision and opinions...maybe some more Jewish stuff...