It was good yesterday to be reminded that central to all that we do as church is integrated mission, it was also challenging to be reminded how easy it is to forget and lose that sense of being. It reminded me of van Gelder's work and becomes #7 of my looking for 10! Thanks for an encouraging day IHQ Programme department!
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. In other words it is important when considering who we are, that we don't get hooked up on what we look like and how organise ourselves before we understand first who we are and what we have been called to do!
"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).
Gelder, C. (2000). The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit.
Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books.