Unique Tool Set
Church leaders need to recognize the unique tool set that has been given to the Christian community. We have a lot more to work with than the average do-gooder. A fresh coat of paint and garbage free streets can have a big impact on a neighborhood. We are, however, battling against more than graffiti and litter. Paul paints a picture of a spiritual conflict where the weaponry of God is employed to fight against the evil one. There is a trend in the church to under spiritualize our mission. We want to show the world how practical our faith is. We adopt the same tools and techniques as everyone else. We shout, "us too" in hopes of being noticed by normal people. Consider the following thoughts,
The Church is not to be understood primarily as a means to the end of transforming society. This would be to trample over the uniqueness and infinite worth to God of the Christian community...We assume the battle for right and justice can be won by force, by technique, by doing. It cant. These very clearly are not the weapons of Christian warfare. Truly Christian transformation of culture comes through Christlike love, community and being.
-From The Community of the King by Howard A. Snyder
If we start with Christlike love, community and being we will be compelled to act. Our actions may lead to paint and garbage sacks, but these tools are a means to the end of love. The true transformation comes when recognize the unique tool set that has been given to us. We have the love of Jesus. We have forgiveness. We have eternal hope. Let these tools direct our church programs and outreach strategies.