Church Program: Church
I am reading through a book by John Bright titled The Kingdom of God. Ya, some light reading in my spare time. Bright provides an overview of Kingdom theology through the Old and New Testament and comes to an interesting conclusion:
"We came, then, to the New Testament asking for a program of action by which we might further the victory of Christ, and we have received our answer: I give you no program, but a calling-to be the Church"
How about that? My job as a pastor just got a lot easier... or did it get harder? Bright hammers away at the idea of Christ as the Suffering Servant. This is non-program for the church: that we might serve as Christ served. Is that harder or easier than programing my way to "success?"
Bright concedes that some level of organization is necessary but is keen to separate it from the concept of the Kingdom of God. What, then, should be the roles of my programs? To help people be the Church!
My programs should help people suffer as Christ suffered and to graft more people into His body so that they may dwell in His vine.
That sounds churchy. Let me try again. My job, as a pastor, is to help people live out the mission of Christ as an expression of God's love for everything that has been messed up by sin. Better? Too simple?