ReImagining the Church: First Steps

The Family Ministry Task Force

Tonight we take one more step in changing the shape and direction of ministry at New Life Christian Fellowship. A Family Ministry Task Force (I think we should have t-shirts) has been put together as a way to extend the conversation that is happening among the staff and leadership into a wider circle of people in the church. Our goal is to reImagine the church and the family and how their relationship with one another might change in order to more faithfully live out and proclaim the good news of Jesus.

Everything’s on the table. We have been willing to sit with the theoretical “blank page” and ponder everything from age-based ministry and discipleship programs to the direction of our future teaching and what we do when we meet on a Sunday morning. It is nothing short of a seismic shift in the culture of New Life.

I would be terrified if this were born out of the desire for change for change’s sake. It’s not.

I would be worried if we were going into this with the brazen attitude that we can do what 2000 years of church history has failed to do. We’re not. We are all entering this discussion with hearts full of fear and trembling. It’s a scary thing, reImagining the shape of something as sacred as the church, but there are enough faithful members of God’s body beyond our own congregation who are asking similar questions. It seems that standing on the edge of a major cultural shift, the church is being called into just such a process.

As our conversations leading up to tonight’s meeting has taken shape we seem to be asking three or four key questions about who we currently are as a church. The way we answer the following questions will determine what sort of community we become.

  1. What role do we see the family playing in a person’s faith?
  2. What role do we see the church playing in a person’s faith, and how do we understand our relationships with one another within the church?
  3. What do we understand the gospel to be and how do we pass it on as a community?
  4. What do we believe Jesus has done and will do in the future?

We’ve raised some of these questions directly and others indirectly, but in the end I believe New Life will have to address all of them if we truly want to reach the heart of the where God is calling us.

What might emerge out of this discussion? I do not know. I hope it leads to a community that grasps the beauty and power of God’s plan of salvation through Christ Jesus and the coming of his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I hope it leads to something that challenges the lies of today’s culture while pressing into that kingdom in the here and now.

How would you answer any of the questions above and where have you seen these questions answered well before?


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