Sometimes a congregation that has declined in numbers and morale comes to believe that their situation could be reversed if they build or buy a church building. Some begin to think, with all the best intentions, “If we buy our own building, we could do so many things we cannot do now!” Like the theme of the movie Field of Dreams, some may begin to believe: “If you build it, they will come!”
References to: church
Christian living is not an isolated affair but a matter of belonging with others in God’s alternative society, the church. The church has a bad image in many people’s eyes, but the Bible presents something much better than the stereotype.
Images of the church in the New Testament
Each of these images emphasizes a different aspect of Christian belonging. What do those images imply?
Randy Bloom, then Director of Church Multiplication Ministries for Grace Communion International, interviewed Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research. An experienced church planter, Ed trains church planters and pastors around the world.
RB: Tell us about your experience as a church planter.
Sometimes Christians assume that full-time pastors serve the Lord more than other members do. Although that may be true in some cases, it is not true in all cases. Paul tells us, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Whenever Christians work in a bank, they do it for the glory of God. A Christian who teaches school does it to glorify God. A Christian who takes care of children at home glorifies God in changing diapers and cleaning floors. They are all serving the Lord—full-time, perhaps 100 hours a week!
Why do we meet together each week for worship and instruction? With a lot less bother, couldn’t we worship at home, read the Bible and listen to a sermon on the radio or the internet?
The Bible says that people who have faith in Christ become part of the "church." What is the church? How is it organized? What is its purpose?
Jesus is building his church
By Ken Williams, GCI regional pastoral leader
The new GCI-USA motto, "From union to communion: Making disciples with Jesus," speaks to our active participation in what Jesus is doing in the Spirit to fulfill the Father’s mission. A growing number of our congregations are seeing how this participation includes joining Jesus in ministering to the unchurched community near their place of worship. By doing so, they are becoming community-based. Let me share some of what they are learning.
Dr. Paul Louis Metzger is Professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. For a PDF of all four interviews, click here. He is author of Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church,
The Word of Christ and the Word of Culture: Sacred and Secular Through the Theology of Karl Barth, and
Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths.
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J. Michael Feazell: Thanks for joining us on another edition of You’re Included , the unique interview series devoted to practical implications of Trinitarian theology in today’s complex world. Our guest today is Dr. Paul Louis Metzger, professor of Christian theology and theology of culture at Multnomah Biblical Seminary at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon.