Ok, so I am grappling with the issues of children and youth ministries in a cross cultural setting. Do we go for separate ministries or look at some type of integrated approach. In the last post I wanted to explore how our theology might inform and interact with this issue. One area that I have been thinking about is the role of the church in our communities.
I am conscious that in the debate around these issues, some people do not think the church has a mission. I also recognise that it is possible to over-realise and under-realise your eschatology. To expect to much or expect to little. So for example the words in the Lord's prayer, your kingdom come, will mean different things depending on your ecclesiology and eschatology.
In my own view I think the church does have a role to play in its community. I understand 1 Peter 2: 9-10 to be speaking about God’s gathered people who as a part of their gathering have a role in proclaiming to the world his “excellencies”. I also think that the context promotes this as something that is expressed in word and deed. I see this sitting comfortably with
Jeremiah 29:7 “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile”.In the end I am convinced that the church/congregation has a role to play in shaping a society ,as a beacon of light for the gospel.
The question is then; In a multi-ethnic society what is the role of the “local” church?
I guess my first thought would be that the God’s gathered people can shape a society and be a beacon of gospel light by being a place where the gospel transforms us so much that being in Christ is more important than cultural differences. Church is the not yet new community pictured in Rev 21 and the now community spoken of in Galatians.
27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:27-28
Just wondering what you think of this argument? I know it is not new. Where are the holes? Do you run a homogeneous church? Is this too idealistic? Or perhaps you could argue that there is enough difference already within a homogeneous congregation and to push for much more is a bridge too far? Tell me what you think.