Emerging church VI
Monday 3rd March 2008 @ 7:16 pm / arts - movies, books, theatre ...
… and the hits keep on coming … here we go with the fifth mark of the emerging church …
Serving with Generosity
“On one occasion our community was getting kicked out of a park because of our interaction with the homeless. ‘You can’t feed the homeless here; you need a permit’ the policeman said. I replied, ‘we’re not feeding the homeless we’re having a picnic. We’re eating with them.”
Generosity is very essence of the Kingdom EC’s strive after … this lives in contrast to the self-indulgent consumer culture we live in … “Emerging churches stand out significantly as they reject the economic rules prevalent in culture and practice hospitality by serving with generosity.”
This is kingdom inspired generosity … Jesus served in this way – so should those who follow. God continues to pour love and mercy into the world, those that follow his way get to join in this generosity.
Sadly the economic marketing systems of the western world have also risen in the church: “Today, typically, individuals come to spirituality as shoppers. They consume spiritual experiences.” Churches often treat searchers as consumers, giving them the experiences that are desired … seeing them as potential converts rather than people.
“Thus Jesus is turned into a product that satisfies needs. The problem is that Jesus won’t satisfy individual needs, for the gospel is primarily about God’s agenda, not ours. For true satisfaction to take place, needs must be reformed and transformed to correspond with the gospel.”
Hospitality within the EC can be defined in the following ways …
From disembodied to embodied spirituality … This is earthy and real – not removed in a charismatic way, or removed as liberal social alternatives.
From social programs to a socially engaged way of life.
Demonstrating a life of service in which all are invited to share.
Becoming good news before proclaiming good news … “Emerging churches do not so much target people as love them.”
From a spiritualised gospel to an embodied gospel … “The kingdom is not so much a spiritual kingdom as an alternative kingdom.”
From proclaiming a message to demonstrating personal concern.
From dualistic to holistic gospel … “Members of emerging churches do not separate the Great commission from the great commandment.”
From tithing for the church to tithing by the church
From serving in the church to serving Christ in vocation
This way of life is not a throw back to liberal social gospel – they are engaged in this because of Christ and are not ashamed of this truth. Generosity is central. They strongly want to be distanced from models of evangelism that are intrusive and manipulative. Caring with respect for the whole of that person with a long term commitment.
To leave a comment, click here
Amen to all of the above!!
Added: Monday 3rd March 2008 @ 1:39 pm