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July 09, 2013


John Stickley


Maybe I'm putting words into this that simply aren't there, but I'm not so sure I agree that a primary focus of Christians is a calling to build institutions. Sure, marriage, families, the church... the institutions established by God. And absolutely, the gospel should be central to all that we do... that our mission in spreading the gospel extends to work, community, family, friends, and so on. So, I agree there... but beyond that?

I just don't know. My knee-jerk reaction is that the gospel is all about following Christ in such a way that we introduce people to Him in all that we do, person to person. Not institution to person. That redeeming people that will stand for Him is where's God's heart lies, not in creating or preserving institutions that will do the same.

Then again, perhaps my reaction stems from the fact that so many of our "Christian" institutions are not laser-focused on the gospel. Perhaps my view is jaded, or perhaps I'm not really all that clear on what you're saying and where you're going with this.

Whatever the case, suffice it to say that I'm very interested to hear what you have to say in your next post.

Thanks for stirring me to think about these things.

Alan Cross

John, great thoughts. I actually agree with you completely. As I said in my previous post, I have been fully relational and gospel focused in my approach to ministry. That is not changing. However, I am beginning to see that solidifying some things and strengthening what we do in a way that is lasting has real significance and value. We could go back to the Old Testament for a lot of examples, but I think that that approach is prone to error. We live in the New Covenant and our hearts have been changed and we now walk in the Spirit, but I sometimes wonder if we have not thrown the baby out with the bath water, so to speak, and have not moved toward a form of Docetism.

Good to hear from you again, by the way. It has been a long time. I hope that all is well with you. Thanks for reading. I will continue on tomorrow with more thoughts on this.

Tom Hicks

Enjoyed the post Alan! I loved this: "We shouldn't invest time, resources, and energy to tell the story just so we can 'reach more people.' We come across as salesmen when we do that. However, we should give our whole lives to tell the Gospel Story in every possible way as worship to God."

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