Paul writes - Kevin Rains, one person (of a number) I’m looking forward to having a few beers and meals with one day up in his part of the world (or down here in NZ), has been “haunted” here by something Gordon Cosby (Church of the Saviour, Washington D.C.) said a few years ago:
“That in all his years of service he has never (and he emphasized 'never') seen a group go from community to mission. Rather, he said one should organize around mission and community will follow. I'm paraphrasing but that is the basic idea.”
I remain convinced; given our post-Christendom times that Crosby is right! I’ve long been struck by the inordinate focus (time, financial resource, creativity etc) on the gathered Sunday experience of being church. There is little cultural engagement and little missional praxis. Sermon titles and themes invariably centre on the Sunday congregation and their needs, rather than serving to enable, inspire, and equip the church in it’s joining in on what God is doing in the world (the missio Dei).
Cosby’s statement is a radical one which turns most current notions of church on their head – it brings us back to a central question – “why does the church primarily exist, and how does its call to exist in this way shape its form, values, and practices?”