Now that we’re 8 years into this millenium, here are the 3 things I think churches must do in this pluralistic, postmodern, post-christendom world —
Tell the story. Read both the Old and New Testaments and the constant practice that emerges is that God’s people tell God’s story. The great story for Israel was the Exodus. Still is. The great story for the church sweeps from creation to recreation witnessed in the person of Jesus. I am convinced that we need to tell the story of God over and over. We need to tell it in our worship, our teaching, our daily living. I’ll say more about this later this year, and I’ve created a new category, The Story, just for that purpose.
Invite others. This is called evangelism, outreach, and witness. But the kind of inviting I’m talking about is not invitation to join the church or get baptized or even make a decision for Christ. It might include all those things, but has a unique perspective on the mission of God. And, I’m convinced if we learn how to really tell the story, then inviting others will not be the struggle that evangelism, outreach, and witness are now.
Bless the world. God called Abraham and blessed him to be a blessing to all the nations. Service to others, visiting the prisoners, healing the sick, doing justice for the poor, being peace to world in strife — these are ways of blessing the world.
Simple, Biblical — tell the story, invite others, bless the world. That’s what I’ll be doing in 2008. That’s what I’m going to lead my church to do. I’ll post our progress — successes, and failures — during this year. For me, these are the basic practices any church should do. What do you think?