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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Ministering to Normal People

--Have not come up with a better title than that...Feel it is okay for internal language, but not good to be disseminated.--
For those who aren't familiar with W242 lango--rather than using negative labels such as "nonChristian," "unbeliever" the term normal people implies that the "outsider" is one who follows Christ.

First one needs to avoid making normal people a pet project. Any attempt to target "normals" will backfire because it will either a) present a hypocrisy that the projects/programs used to reach these individuals are not the real ways that the church worships, interacts, ministers, etc or b) create a safe distance which keeps ministering to the "normals" as a nice activity rather than a full blown lifestyle (for the individual)/ethos (for the community). Also by avoiding pet projects, one will also avoid the attempt to make the thems into uss--which would stifle one of the values.

Three values:
As as soon as Christ reaches someone who is normal, when that individual is brought into the church the must be allowed to provide a new perspective, vision, etc. Or all we have done is conformed rather than transformed that person with the Gospel. We should not indoctrinate "normals" but learn to utilize the other's perspective and vision.
Provides space for people to disagree and differ, but by doing so also exposes the overlaps. Convergence does not say one idea, method, theology, etc, is better than another--rather it looks for the overlaps. Those overlaps build upon themselves and provide stability.
This is crucial because it would not be a ministry without hope. Hope implies a purpose or meaning which is located not only in the overlap of individuals but also as the driving force of the community: in both cases it is the logos. Hope says that the stability provided in convergence is held up by a universal reality, the logos. At the same time the resurrected logos, implies a living deity that can has innovative and creative power.

I am reminded of Paul's Faith-Hope-Love and Revelations Was-Will Be-Is. Faith is trust in what God was, Hope is trust in what God will be (His innovativity and creativity) and Love is that present overlap--the present mission of the church should be to reach normal people with the transformative Gospel.

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