Over at Outside is Better, Chad Brooks is calling us to tell the truth about ecclesiology in the local church. He opens with three Ally Bank commercials that expose the ridiculous and unfair bait-and-switch practices of banking, and then segues into a discussion of our too often bait-and-switch ecclesiology. He finishes the post with four suggested practices:
- Build churches of care-giving.
- Define moral boundaries in order to define holiness.
- Build a worshiping community that is focused on God and his actions, instead of humans and our emotions.
- Be honest about what your church offers.
Read (and discuss) the entire post at Outside is Better.
Running his suggestions through a bit of functional ecclesiology: What might leaders and members do to create a community in which these sorts of spiritual practices are common and expected? Here are three suggestions:
- Leaders–whether formal or informal–must model the expected practices. It is not enough to teach and preach them.
- Leaders must provide and members must seek out training that equips and conditions mind, emotions, and desires, so that all may become the sorts of persons who practice these as a matter of course. This includes teaching our identity as a connected community in Christ, the transforming power of correct knowledge of God, and the fact of the speech-and-action tainting baggage that we all carry.
- Leaders must provide and members must seek out training in the skills needed to create a web of care that expects shared responsibility, decreasing focus on self, increasing focus on God, and a realistic representation of the Body–both its strengths and its weaknesses.
What have you to add?