Church 2.0 Part Three

 In Featured, Pastor Jeff's Blog

The future is already here; it is just on the margins. – Dave Gibbons

For the last few years the media has overflowed with articles and analysis of the decline of the Church in America. If you love the Church, as I do, you’re tired of the analysis and ready for solutions. What do we do about this decline?

There’s a pattern that runs throughout Scripture that I think is worth our attention and it’s basically this: God is always at work at the fringe. The action is almost never at the center where power, order, systems and controls are. The movement doesn’t start in the halls of government or the offices of religious leaders. It’s in the outsider, the marginalized, “the least of these.” Here are a few examples:

• The Good News of Jesus’ birth was first announcements to shepherds, people on the lowest rung of the social ladder (starting with Luke 2:8)
• The blind saw Jesus for who he is, while the religious leaders with healthy eyes were spiritually blind (eg. John 9)
• In Mark’s Gospel it was a Roman Centurion (a pagan!) who first recognized Jesus as the Son of God (Mark 15:39)
• Women, people with little status in the first century, were the first to encounter the risen Jesus (starting with John 20:11)

I could go on and on, but you get the point. Over and over again God is at work on the fringe, while those in the center, those with power and status, reject what God is doing. It threatens their status. It undermines their power. It doesn’t fit their expectations.

As the Church seeks to revive the movement of the Gospel we need to engage with Scripture and pray for wisdom beyond our own. And we also need to listen to those on the fringe, those we usually reject or ignore. And rather than being threatened or condemning, let’s be open to what God might be up to. Even if it threatens our status, challenges our power or doesn’t fit our expectations. The answers we seek may be found in places we least expect.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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  • Carol Silkey
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    Thank you Pastor Jeff. Once again you have opined my eyes to a better understanding of God’s word.

  • Rosemary Brown
    Reply

    Thank you Jeff…….I am ALWAYS so blessed by what you share in your “Blog”. You bring such insightful topics and words to us. I always look forward to it. God bless you, richly!!

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