Who is the Church for?

The Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members. William Temple (15 October 1881 – 26 October 1944). I quoted this gentleman on Sunday and the statement keeps coming to mind. An interesting guy who was the first Archbishop of Canterbury to go into battle since the Middle Ages when he visited Normandy in 1944 during Operation Overlord and said he was “not only non-pacifist but anti-pacifist.”

It is his take on the church that is most challenging for us, for in every church stream/denomination there is a tendency towards looking after no.1 to the detriment of those “who are not its members”. No.1 is ultimately my comfort and benefit, which as we saw on Sunday was the very thing Jesus did not (Harpagmos =) grasp on to.

In traditional churches no.1 is tradition, in charismatic churches no.1 is charismatic gifts, in evangelical-charismatic churches it is even worse because no.1 is charismatic gifts that the bible is very clear about – or so we think!

In the end, Jesus said go make disciples, not go and make disciples but make sure you look after no.1 first. The work of the Spirit of God is vital but “charismatic principles” that mask an ugly “grasping” of our own comfort zone is anti the gospel of Jesus.

We need balance, but we need mission to be the first big stone in the bucket. This will mean different things in different settings, but it will always mean discomfort, digging deep and reading Phil 2v5-8 over and over.


Posted September 15, 2010 by silklifechurch in Leadership

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