Thursday, August 4, 2011

Let the gospel overwhelm and transform - Tim Gombis

Here are some excerpts from Tim Gombis's recent post in his blog. I think they are excellent.

"It seems to me that the New Testament assumes the constant rehearsal of the story of Scripture in order to shape the identity of God’s people.  We get to know God and his ways with his people as we have our imaginations shaped by the narrative of Scripture.  That’s the resurrection-powered world we inhabit, with all its possibilities, its dynamics, and its causes and effects."

"God works in power only through communities of the cross.  God unleashes resurrection power only among cruciform communities of humility and weakness.  God’s people, therefore, can adopt postures of humility toward one another and call out to God for wisdom to find a way forward through any challenge.  They then put their heads together and commit to the hard work of discussing and listening to one another in order to creatively come up with a way to deal with whatever challenge they face."

"It seems to me that here is where churches sometimes fail.  They imagine that the problem is the problem.  After all, churches aren’t supposed to have problems or challenges, just as individual Christians are supposed to have perfect lives.  If there’s something wrong, then there’s something wrong!"

"I hate Christian clich├ęs, but I’ve never forgotten this one: “the end is the process.”"

"The goal is not simply to get rid of the problem or to get past the obstacle as quickly as possible.  The goal is to go through the hard work of discussing and listening in order to strengthen the bonds of community through that whole messy process.  Get people involved, let people give advice and counsel.  Cultivate openness, honesty, and vulnerability.  Giving people opportunities just might allow them to discover their gifts and capacities to contribute to a community.  It will allow a church to actually do the “one-anothers” of church life."

"[Y]ou only lose when you try to win.  God has already pledged his allegiance to us in Jesus, so we can’t lose.  We’re already loved by God despite our failures, sins, and shameful pasts, so there’s no way we can fail.  If working through a difficulty as a community takes more time than we thought, that’s okay.  If we think we’re going to miss out on great opportunities because we’re doing the hard work of making sure everyone is unified, that’s okay, too.  Like I said, the whole point is the process, and we win when we remain unified and grow in love for one another."

Click here to read the full blog post.

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