Christ, Cause, and Community

There’s a lot of good, thought-provoking stuff in Dave Gibbons’s book, The Monkey and the Fish (Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church). Here’s an example:

For a long time now, churches have approached ministry and spiritual development as a linear progression. You accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and then you proceed down a well-defined path into the deeper truths of the faith....But we have to understand that this Western, sequential, how-to approach has not resonated in much of the world. And it’s not going to....It also doesn’t find a receptive audience with most people in post-Boomer generations....

Many people today....enter a relationship with Jesus through involvement in a cause or doing a good deed. They have no interest in “accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior,” but they want to be engaged in a worthwhile endeavor. That’s likely to be their most effective introduction to Jesus and the gospel. So in today’s culture, a person’s religious conversion is better viewed as a dynamic, organic, messy journey--complete with detours and dead ends and back alleys and U-turns---than as a moment that triggers a series of key decisions.

The simple model of ministry that enfolds these principles is what we’re calling the rhythms model. In this model, you organize ministry around three intersecting spheres---Christ, cause, and community.

Christ, cause, and community. At Cobblestone, we’ve adopted a strategy, an emphasis we call “Seek, Share, Serve,” defining the three things we do as Christ-followers: seek God in worship, share our lives in Journey Groups, and serve God and the church in some servant role. These could just as easily be defined as Christ, cause, and community.

So it’s amazing to me how the Holy Spirit, whose guidance we have actively been seeking, seems to know what he’s doing. With us. And with others. Eh?

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