Wednesday, January 04, 2006

7 marks of a healthy church... 5/7

Another mark of health from Robert Warren.
Operates as a community. It is not just faith in God that sustains these churches but the reality and strength of generous and honest relationships that makes church 'family' for all who participate and draws out each person's gifts and contribution.
There is not much here to add 'making church family for all' who participate would make a great strap line to any church wayside pulpit (for a bit of fun look here - thanks to Carl). But to take this observation beyond 'apple pie and motherhood and all things nice' the challenge is to identify the key words here and for me they are "for all".

Community is easy when you are all the same, same theology, same taste, same values, same aspirations in life. I could picture people I have known in my life, ministered with, even people that I have got to know through blogging, clump them together in my minds eye to create a church of my dreams. The problem is however - if God dreams! I'm not sure it would be the church of His dreams.

You choose your friends but you can't choose your family!

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Apologies to any Baptist friends - particularly any that go to the First Baptist Church!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Making church a place where "all" are welcome is something we work hard to acheive. The song "They shall come from the east, they shall come from the west" brings tears to my ears as I imagine all the hurting and sad people coming together as one, healed and restored in one big community....

This is Heaven...

Glenda

Kathryn said...

When I was praying about whether God wanted me here for my curacy, the word He kept giving me was "family"...so this is really close to my heart. We've definitely monochrome in most respects here at the moment, but there are signs of hope...
btw, I'm getting far more out of Robt.Warren filtered through your blog than I did reading the whole book. On its own, it just made me feel sad and inadequate...you are giving me stuff to think and pray through. Thanks :-)

Gordon said...

I like taht picture Glenda thanks

Gordon said...

Kathryn - keep away from Natural Church Development then :o).

I can see your point though. Books like this can be a bit depressing