Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If church leaders only did one thing to receive the transfusion you talk about in your book, what would that be?

Death: to yourself as a leader, and for the church. Yikes, does that sound too harsh? Well, if it does that is only an indication of how far removed we actually are from the Gospel. You see death is the entry-level course of discipleship for all, not some upper division elective for the most committed. We are supposed to be a people for whom death has no sting, the fact that it is so feared and threatening to us and our institutions is a symptom of a very serious problem. We believe that a true transformation requires changing the very DNA of the church. Changing a person’s DNA is nothing shy of science fiction today...but so is resurrection.

We believe that death and resurrection are indeed needed in order to be born again with new DNA–as a disciple, leader or as a church (a family of disciples). Jesus clearly said that if we cling to our lives we will lose them and if we lose them for the Gospel’s sake we will gain them. We believe this applies to us as individuals and as ecclesia. When we fight for self-preservation we are already dying. When we are willing to die we have found real life. The churches that are willing to die are the most alive and the ones that are unwilling to die are dead already. We are to live by faith and I can think of no better way than to position yourself in such a way that if Jesus doesn’t step in and do what only He can than we would be dead and gone. That is faith. There is no more alive church than one willing to risk it all in faith that Jesus is real and His promise is sure.

There is much more in the book Church Transfusion on each of these ideas and several others. We also present real life examples of several churches, each very different, that have seen a transfusion of life and become fruitful. These are not just high tower theories but real life ideas with practical suggestions and examples.

1 comment:

Mark Sequeira said...

Neil, as always, this is great. Very provocative yet true. We are far too comfortable with Jesus' words when they are in actuality, shocking and harsh. Thank you.