Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Who needs the gospel?

In Christian ministry, raw conversions are highly valued and "transfer" growth is often disparaged. Raw conversions, are undoubtedly exciting, for example my wife was one. When Amy made her public profession of faith; Christianity, churches, theology and the bible were new, strange and exciting. On the other hand I grew up in a family were the gospel was a constant explanation and motivation.

But here's the kicker, both Amy and I need to hear the gospel again. We need to hear it explained, contextualised, preached and argued. Those regular Christian punters in the pews need the gospel just as desperately as the pagans at T.A.B. and the preacher needs it most of all. What I'm really saying is that we've lost sight of the discipleship forest in the search for the conversion trees.

This is what I meant in a previous post about discipleship, we should measure church growth longitudinally instead of simply numerically. In addition, in the search for conversions we've dumbed down the gospel in order to get as many across the line as quickly as possible. Applying the gospel to lots of different people will require lots of planning, careful explanation and good questions.