Evangelicals and Reductionism – Can we really have community and not mission in our churches?

I have to say that I’m sorry its been so long since I’ve posted.  Its been a crazy few weeks, with a 4 day trip back home to Augusta.  Anyway, here’s a great post over at The Resurgence site, dealing with Evangelicalism and reductionism.  There’s alot in it, but this last thought is really great.  What do you guys think about this?

The danger I face…is that I, too, can reduce the Church’s real problems to simple solutions just like the next person. The real problem is a spiritual and theological one, not a management or programmatic one. This calls for spiritual and theological solutions, not pat answers. This frustrates busy, pragmatic Americans who want programs that will solve their problems. Thus the reductionistic problem just keeps getting recycled over and over again.

The place we must begin to counteract this reductionism is in seeing that our mission is not merely an activity of the Church, but rather that the Church exists for mission. Mission is the result of God’s activity within the world and that mission is to restore and heal creation. The Church is a community of the redeemed and exists to serve that mission. This is the meaning of John 20:21. God is a missionary God and we, as his people, are a sent people. The Church is not the purpose of the gospel, or even the goal of the gospel. The Church is the instrument and witness of the gospel. Only when we get this right will be begin to be the community that God intended for us to be.

So, do we as North American evangelicals operate in ways that reduce the gospel – in our gospel “presentations”, ministry objectives/approaches, etc?  Do we tend to see the church as serving our need for community, or as God’s ordained instrument in accomplishing His mission? 

Thoughts, comments, suggestions!

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3 thoughts on “Evangelicals and Reductionism – Can we really have community and not mission in our churches?

  1. At the A29 retreat this summer, Darrin Patrick stated we’re not to have the mission of community, but rather we’re to be a community on mission. It sounds so simple, but that mindset will totally revolutionize your ministry. We are constantly experiencing the “unwiring/rewiring” of that in Augusta at the WELL.

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  2. I like Darrin’s comment: we’re not on mission for community, but a community on mission. Man, that’ll preach!

    On another note – I was in town this past weekend, but was swamped with various “to do’s”. We’re coming back through in December for a couple of weeks, and Maggie and I would love to catch up with you and the fam, as well as swing down to the Well and check you guys out. The building looks good (from my downtown drive-by at least).

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