Friday, July 25, 2008

The Essence of the Church (1)

Reminiscent of the Hirsch and Frost's mantra 'Christology - Missiology - Ecclesiology', Van Gelder points out how important it is to maintain an understanding of the relationship of the 'nature - ministry and organisation' of church. The order has to be right when considering the development of a missiological ecclesiology...
"The church is.

The church does what it is.

The church organises what it does"

"In developing a more fully-orbed missiological ecclesiology, three aspects of church life must be defined and related to one another: what the church is - its nature; what the church does - its ministry; and how the church is to structure its work - its organisation. The interrelationship of the three aspects is clear. The church is. The church does what it is. The church organises what it does" (Van Gelder 2000:37)
Getting the order wrong can reduce the perspective of church from that of a unique community of God's people to that of merely a series of ministry functions administered designed to accomplish certain goals (2000:23).

Van Gelder's issue? Church has got to be more than that!

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