Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Musings of a cream crackered youth worker...

It's official. Two sleepless nights with a new born baby is actually more demanding than a sleepless youth weekend away. For one thing I don't have to change poopy nappies on weekends away. And let me assure those unexperienced in 4am nappy changes... you will never eat chicken korma again.

So as I sit match sticks in my eyes & brain still thinking it's last Friday afternoon, I came across this interesting little article that compares a church that is "performance based" & a church that is "grace based". I found it uncomfortable reading. I'd love to know your thoughts.

Which type of church (faith community) do you belong to......

A) Community of Performance
People talk about grace, but communicate legalism.
Unbelievers can't imagine themselves as Christians.
Drive away broken people.
The world is seen as threatening and 'other.'
Conversion is superficial—people are called to respectable behavior.
People are secretly hurting.
People see faith and repentance as actions that took place at conversion.
The gospel is for unbelievers.

B) Community of Grace
People can see grace in action.
Unbelievers feel like they can belong.
Attract broken people.
People are loved as fellow sinners in need of grace.
Conversion is radical—people are called to transformed affections.
People are open about their problems.
People see faith and repentance as daily activities.
The gospel is for both unbelievers and believers.

1 comment:

Nea Wilkinson said...

It's relatively easy to locate my (and most likely the majority of churches in Northern Ireland) in those two categories. And it's not where I'd like it to be. Yet I know that I belong to a Church that has good intentions, and does want to bring the gospel, bring Christ into a broken world. But as I've explored this issue over the years that I have been a part of my Church, my perspective on the situation is that Churches are too safe. We don't want to take risks. We don't want the rough kids coming into our youth clubs because of the risk to the physical building. We don't want the people coming into our Church who are going to smell of smoke. We don't want any diversity in our thinking or beliefs because it poses a risk to the Orthodox values and theology of the Church.

Many of our Churches hold great intentions, and a vision to bring people to Christ. But our Churches must face up to the need to get their hands dirty, to be forward thinking in how they reach out to a modern world, and to have the faith that whatever challenges they face that the good traditions which they hold to (in doctrine and value) will hold strong through the face of the challenges of that world.