Every time I come back to work after a semi-long break (like the one I just enjoyed celebrating the birth of our daughter Claire!), I always need reminders about what it is I’m / we’re doing with the whole business called “church.” I confess that one of the questions I most often ask myself is, So what the heck are we doing anyway? So I usually revisit some list about aims or purposes of the church. No list is perfect or complete, but I spent about half of 2009 working on this and I figured it was finally time to share…
- To celebrate, embody, and proclaim the gospel of God’s saving reign inaugurated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.
- To exclusively worship the God who is faithfully revealed in the story of Scripture as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- To form new creation communities of mutual care and sharing, friendship and hospitality, accountability and reconciliation.
- To teach and train one another to take up our cross and follow Jesus in the way of cruciform faith, hope, love, joy, and peace.
- To share the joys and burdens of ministry by exercising our Spiritual gifts under the guidance of consultative leadership.
- To resist the forces of evil and death by exposing idolatrous lies and refusing conformity to the patterns of this world.
- To suffer with and seek justice and healing for the physically, socially, economically, politically, and emotionally vulnerable and poor.
- To reflect God’s image by cultivating creation’s fruitfulness in family, work, rest, play, art, poetry, and care for earth.
- To honor but not idolize our children and to intentionally raise them to be radically faithful disciples of Jesus.
- To practice the historic disciplines of prayer, fasting, meditation, study, simplicity, service, confession, submission, & direction.