Models of the Church FUZZY LINES

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Matthew 11:18-19

 

So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.”

Ephesians 2:17-20

 

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Models of the Church COMMUNITY

The church as community is the people in community, with God.

The people are the church, together.

In this community, we can grow as persons, we are loved and we receive love; we have gifts to share and to receive. In this community, we are members: we belong, we each have a part and a place and a contribution to make.

But the church as community loses its way unless it knows that it is the community of God.

In short, it is the community of people living in and with God, and God living in and with us.

 

Models of the Church SERVANT

At the beginning of the twentieth century, French theologian Anton Loisy wrote: ‘Jesus announced the kingdom of God and what came was the Church.’

These words, often quoted out of context, serve to ask what is the relation between God’s promised reign and the Church. For many centuries, the Church imagined that God’s kingdom was limited to the Church. In earlier and more recent times, there has been much creative thinking about God’s purposes in the world at large: and how the Church should be part of that. This thinking lies behind the idea of the Church as servant.

What is God doing in the world around us—and how can we participate in that and work with God’s purposes in our lives, in God’s world?

That is the continuing challenge and invitation to us, the Church.

 

Models of the Church INSTITUTION

The Church—What is it about?

This week and for the next 4 Sundays we will be thinking about ‘models of the church’, some of which are well recognised ways of thinking about the nature and mission of the Church.

These sermons will provide us with some stimulus for our collective discernment of the challenges and opportunities facing us as Box Hill Baptist Church.

During this time there will also be some Forum opportunities, for community discussion of some of these challenges.