SERIES...Leaning in #2 (our post-quarantine Gospel moment)

Ministry has always been the work of understanding the Gospel as recorded in scripture, then learning how to contextualize it into a specific context. The classic example comes from Paul’s conversation in Acts 17. While Paul began with the temple to the unknown God...he used that "hook" to move the conversation towards God and the Gospel. Paul wasn’t alone in this. Jesus did it often by touching the deep yearning of a person’s soul and then bring the Gospel to bear on it.

Contextualizing Without Compromising
But how do we know if we’ve gone too far? We can know that the Gospel has been contextualized without compromise if the central message remains unchanged. There are 19 sermons in Acts, with great variety in specific verbiage and style, but every one of them carried the central message of Jesus crucified, dead, buried, and raised again. So…that’s how we know.

From Gather to Scatter
For too many years, churches have been focused on one thing: Getting the greatest number of people in the room at the same time. Ideally, that is about ministry. The strategy was to design ministries to be attractional. Let’s build buildings and ministries to attract the community here…so that we can then share the Gospel with them. Ideally, it’s about ministry, but sometimes (perhaps more than we like to consider) it morphs into ego.

As we step into the post-quarantine ministry moment, could we consider our building and ministries differently? Instead of expecting our building to be the place where people assemble…perhaps it could become the place people assemble to be equipped.

Theoretically…we all buy into this, but what we buy into and how we behave are often two very different things.

In reality, we understand it will need to be a lot of both. Folks will gather here for the hearing of the Gospel, but may it not be at the expense of the scattering into our communities and workplaces with the Gospel.
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