Sunday, November 25, 2007

What is the Church?

Years ago, I read the book, The Emerging Church by Dan Kimball. I didn’t “get it”. There were some things that were compelling about Kimball’s ideas, but mostly, I read it and thought, “yeah, we’re doing that.” The book was a required text for one of my classes at Fuller, so I read through a couple of chapters again and realized how great this book really is. Here’s a quote from a chapter that Kimball regards as the “second most important chapter” in his book:

“…what comes into our minds when we think of the word church is the most important thing shaping how we function as a church. The way leaders define church will determine how they measure success, where they focus our time and energy, how they design their strategies and form their ministry philosophies. How we define church will even determine the focus of our prayers. This, then, trickles into the minds and hearts of people in the congregation, shaping how they think of church.” Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2003), 92.

Kimball spends the rest of this chapter arguing how he believes this issue is bigger than semantics. What do you think? Does it matter if the church is understood as ‘a place you go’ as opposed to being ‘a group of Christ followers serving a common mission’?

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