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September 25, 2008


Ben S

Hey Matt, Ben here, checking in from surprisingly warm and sunny Grand Rapids.

For awhile now I've been rethinking my take on how to "do church" and how that ecclesiology should be shaped by and go on to shape our theology. My question is this: how do you think we reconcile the contemporary "church" model which has the Sunday Service as the focus with a more biblical, community-oriented ecclesiology? Something like the Sunday Service can of course find a place in a biblical model of the church, but is our cultural attachment to the implications of the Sunday Service (i.e. the church as a "professionally" staffed civic institution to whom we pay dues and from whom we receive benefits which finds expression in a weekly "performance" which we "attend") too strong to be severed by anything less than a radical structuring of the way we meet and worship together as a body?

There are a ton of other questions I could raise, but that seems like a good place to start. Obviously, I thought Sunday mornings at CCC were a good thing and God is definitely working through them. And ultimately it is the church body which determines the spirit of the Sunday service and what that means in the context of the community. But do you think we can take more radical steps to create a practical ecclesiology that reinforces biblical values of community, hospitality and Christ-centered identity?

Matt Adair

Weekly large-group gatherings are critical for covenant renewal and missional equipping. They should be conduits toward smaller groups and individual relationships for community and mission.

I don't think you have to discard the church in its predominant cultural form (as an event that happens in a particular place and time) - in fact, to do so in places like the American South where the church is at least a cultural artifact might do more harm than good. The key here is to remain insistently biblical and contextually viable, reshaping what already exists and building out in other ways in order to get where God's calling you to be and go.

So can we take steps towards a more holistic ecclesiology? We better...

Hope Grand Rapids is treating you well.

Adam Tisdale

Okay...I got my copy in the mail today. What should I do now? Just kidding...I hope I can start reading it soon.

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