Saturday, June 09, 2007

Willard on Church Planting

Dallas Willard makes these provacative statements in a presentation that you can listen to at www.allelon.org:

The church is God's operation on earth.

We don't build churches. We preach the kingdom, make disciples, bring them together in the presence of God, and grow them. And the church results. And then it has a further activity. But the one who is in charge of his church is Jesus Christ.

When Jesus sent his people out into the world, he did not send them to plant churches. He sent them to establish beachheads of the kingdom of God. And churches would be the natural result of that. And then they would carry on that work. But the primary work is the action of God among the people who go out with faith in Jesus Christ to make disciples to him.

Not only are our efforts ineffective, but they actually prevent us from us becoming channels that God can use to advance his kingdom. Here's some more from Willard:

Grace is God working in our lives to do what cannot accomplish on our own.

What you really believe about Jesus Christ is shown by what you do after you learn that you can't do anything.

Spiritual formation is not learning to do the right things.

Here is the irony. What we do really matters.

But the only effective action we can really take is to trust in God's grace.

The harder we try to "make things happen," the less we trust in God's grace.

This is neither simple nor easy.

And people who should know better get in the way of this instead of facilitating it.

Tell me what you think. Do you agree with Willard? Have you experienced this dynamic at work in your own life?

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"

3 comments:

ROD WILLETT said...

Excellent thoughts. The new buzzword seems to be "community" and it has a good response from those in their 20s. God is calling us to get out of the box and get on board to what he is doing, to quote Henry Blackaby.

Pastor Rod said...

Rod,

I agree that we have been too busy trying to make things happen that we have been distracted from seeing what God is already doing.

Rod

John said...

Hi, Im from Melbourne Australia.

Any and every kind of church that you "plant" will always be an expression of and and extension of your own double-minded egoic self possession/confusion---no exceptions.

The "church" in its many forms altogether is entirely and only a man made institution created by very fallible self possessed inherently godless egos to try to make some kind of sense of the never ending chaos of the world process.

There is no necessary connection between these various institutions and Real God---in fact I would say that there is none whatsoever.

And besides Real God is not the kind of Being Who does things in the world. Real God is the Condition and Substance of the "world", not the "creator" or causer of effects in the "world".

That having been said please check out these 4 related references.

1. www.dabase.org/dht7.htm
2. www.dabase.org/noface.htm
3. www.dabase.org/dualsens.htm
4. www.aboutadidam.org/readings/parental_deity/index.html