So I've been ranting and raving the last couple of weeks about how we define "church" and what a strong church looks like and should be doing. I'm not going to add anything today other than highlight a couple stories that got my attention this week.
First comes a story of a church giving back, literally. Last Sunday Liquid Church in New Jersey gave out $30,000 from their own coffers during their regular weekly contribution. Given current events and the economic climate, I struggle to ask for money at my own church. Yes, we need to pay the bills too (I'm the outgoing Board President so I watch this more closely than most others) but would it really be the end of the world if we couldn't pay for our luxurious (by some standards) building and had to meet, like the church in the article, in hotel conference rooms in order to instead give out from our reserves to meet the impoverished needs in our congregation and community? I've written about this before and how it reminds me of the ministry of Kingdom Assignment. I wrote in 2009 that I'd love for my own congregation to do something similar. Two years later I see little chance of that.
The second story is about the ongoing debate in the missional movement. I've argued in my own circle of influence that if Jesus isn't the center of community outreach then it is just community service. The argument goes that being "missional" is the latest trend, and many churches are jumping on the bandwagon in the name of social justice and leaving the Gospel behind. Here are some great blog posts the dig into this debate.
So that's them. What about you? What are you, or your church doing to share the Gospel uniquely? I am personally wrestling with this myself, so inspire me with your stories!