There’s an ever-growing number of tribes in the Church. Denominations, coalitions, and networks all serve as tribes within the Tribe of Christian faith. These tribes we participate in each play a vital role in connecting us to one another and catalyzing us for mission. But despite their many benefits, our tribalism is not without inherent dangers.
By God’s grace, hopefully we are moving in the direction where we know ourselves more and yet think of ourselves less.
God in Christ certainly does make much of us. But not because we are lovely. Because Christ is.
A spirit of professionalism is still a danger to pastor ministry, but I think we are seeing a new wave: a spirit of entrepreneurship.
Each week, when we move from the text of the Bible to the table of the Lord, we remember our Israelite heritage and the way in which God has yet again set the table for us. And just like Israel, when we gather together to worship the risen Christ, reminding ourselves of the gospel by taking the Lord’s Supper, we shall see the glory of the LORD.
Christians are people who live on promises. We grow by promises. We are sustained by promises. We please God by trusting His promises.
In this missionary context where daily they see a lost world, the pursuit of sin and error, it is easy to forget that we who are in Christ, were once just as lost.
The Word of God shapes both how we wish to be treated and how we would treat others. The Golden Rule both engages the moral imagination in specific circumstances and is grounded firmly in the Word of God.
Without question, church planting and pastoral ministry demand a faithful “pouring out as a drink offering” self-sacrificing life of commitment to God and His people. However, this call to pastoral ministry does not mean we should live a life of self-neglect for the sake of Christ.
After reading several dozen church planting manuals over the past few years, I’ve yet to see one with a chapter entitled, “Don’t freak out, they’re just gonna hate you.”