“The Kingdom call to love our cities into life isn’t only about practically repairing brokenness but prophetically reimagining wholeness.” Neil Young.
I’ll be the first to admit that I still have a lot of justified raw anger to release, in a healthy way, in regard to the Church in Ireland. However, I do like the fact that there are many different ways of doing Church here and if you come this way you can enjoy many wonderful expressions of Church. I would hope most Irish pastors and Churches feel the same way about this and can celebrate the diversity.
Recently I sat under some good teaching in the Causeway Coast Vineyard Church which is a vibrant Church plant bringing a lot of light, life and hope to the surrounding area. The Causeway Coast Vineyard is part of the worldwide Vineyard Church movement that grew out of the first Church plant in Anaheim, California. I liked the honesty in the message and the willingness to ask hard questions for the sake of Church and community growth. Sharing is caring in California so I’ll share what I learned. If your Church truly seeks to bring hope to a hurting “world” and truly wants to be inclusive, here’s 12 questions;
1. Would someone far from Jesus come to your church and what practices prevent people from showing up ?
2. Does it embrace a disruptive future for the sake of growth or are you stuck in the comfort zone?
3. Does your Church actually make it difficult for newcomers?
Recall how James, the brother of Jesus rebuked The Jerusalem Council for making it difficult for gentiles coming to faith, “we should not make it difficult .”
4. Can you lower the bar for newcomers without lowering the bar of what it means to come to Christ and live your life for Christ?
5. Can your Church facilitate grumpy or moody teenagers who do things differently?
6. Is the vision of your Church written on people heart’s?
7. Are you outward focused on Sunday but inward focused on Monday?
8. How may ministries in your Church are missional and directed totally towards the lost?
9. Is your Church willing to sacrifice comfort so others can live?
10. Do you push out to the margins of society in the power of the holy spirit ?
11. Do you create real space for encounters for the holy spirit?
12. Is the immediate area around your Church changing for the betterment of the poor, marginalized and lost ?