(Enjoy this final post in Alan Hirsch’s eleven-part series.)
When the church gets its act together, it is the most potent force for the transformation of the world.
One of the most profound ways to embody countercultural dissents against the evil propensities in our cultures is to embody the gospel in a community of Jesus’ people. It has been said that the real task of Christians is to be the church rather than to transform the world. In other words, the church doesn’t have a social strategy, the church is the social strategy. Here we get to show the world a certain type of life the world can never achieve through social coercion or governmental action.
When the church gets its act together, it is the most potent force for the transformation of the world. When we try putting into effect a Christian political agenda/party, we inevitably mess it up; if the European Christendom experience taught us anything, it taught us this. Most Christian political parties end up being domineering, angry, religious bullies operating through coercive power—hardly consistent with Jesus’ approach to changing the world. In fact, we end up looking more like Jesus’ opponents—the scribes, Sadducees, Zealots, and Pharisees.
This communal aspect is also why missionality is not the work of a lone ranger that is so much part of the American individualistic mythology. The kind of change God requires of the world can only be achieved through communal action. It’s the trick God has played on our individualism. We can do truly great things only when we find each other and do it together. This is the realm of missional church, and we are all part of it. Besides, a community that embodies the life and teachings of Jesus is the kind of community that is itself deeply attractive to a lonely and lost world. The best thing we can do is simply become ourselves and live it out as authentically as we can.
Needless to say, all this is well within your power and means. Jesus designed you for influence, change, and impact, right here, right now. And in your healing and salvation lie the healing and salvation of others around you and through you. You simply have to live it in ways that are meaningful and accessible to all. Our lives, for His glory, and for His Kingdom—this is our true worship.
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