It is unwise to persist in outdated models of doing church while fleeting opportunities to impact people for Christ pass us by.
We should be “…making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil”. (Eph. 5:16)
Language changes over time*
I don’t remember much of what was said in my seminary classes. First, that was a long time ago! Second, let’s just say… information overload. But one statement rocked me to my core. I remember it clear as a bell.
“Every generation should render its own translation of the Bible”. – Dr. Jerry Flora
And I especially remember his rationale. Biblical concepts deserve to be communicated in the language people best understand.
This is not license to rewrite God’s Word to satisfy our notions. Rather, it’s a challenge to increase the forcefulness of scripture by making its intended meaning unmistakably clear to the readers.
The intersection of timeless and understandable
I believe the same principle applies to how we “do church”.
Like God’s Word, the mission of the church is unchanging. However, the genius behind both is their capacity to be applied with equal power across generations and cultures, making them timeless.
My position is: the organizational side of church has to be designed to accomplish this.
To borrow a phrase from Carey Nieuwhof, we need to “match our model to our mission”. http://bit.ly/1t55ZU6 via @cnieuwhof
Our challenge is to translate timeless truths into actionable strategies that are right…and on time for our own time and place. People deserve an understandable display of the hope Jesus offers them today.
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*(Check out the TED Talk “What Makes A Word Real?” t.ted.com/EpyZ06b)