Monday, October 15, 2007

Belonging then and now

Following on from my last post I thought it might be a good idea to insert the quotation from The Missional Leader that got me thinking about this in the first place:
"In the time of Tertullian, someone wanting to belong to the church had to go through a rigorous period of training focused on behaviour (how daily life was actually lived). In other words, to belong to the community of Jesus, a person was mentored in practicing change in habits. Today leaders talk about the need to create a safe, non-threatening, low threshold of belonging in order to draw people into the church. Note the two radically different ways in which the same language is being used. These approaches suggest contrasting sources of understanding. In the latter case and in our contemporary context, the source of this thinking is not theologically, biblically formed imagination but the latest marketing strategies that come from polls and studies about what people are looking for when they join a group... Tertullian's primary concern as a leader was formation of people around a specific set of habits and practices that came out of his engagement with scripture."

The quote is from the beginning of Part 2 of the book, which is probably the place to start if you're gonna read it.

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1 comment:

Matthew Lane said...

Hi Matt,
One of my challanges on Genetik; that I've thought for a long time that people do need to behave like Christians if they profess to be so. It was a challange because not everything I saw (or did!) in the house reflected that.
So thank God that we are not saved by our own rightousness, but also thank God that he does transform us into the likeness of His Son, so long as we are willing to persever and be changed...
if that makes sense.