Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Presence-Driven Church Develops a Shared Language

Worship at Redeemer

The words we use are important. Words frame the way we view reality. Words manifest our worldview.

In the Presence-Driven Church we ask questions using words like this:

  • What is God doing in your life?
  • What is God saying to us, as a community?
  • What does God want us to do?
This is not some theory minus application. I, and we at Redeemer, vocalize these sentences

Not all churches ask these questions. In one of my seminary classes a pastor raised his hand and confessed, "I attend a lot of meetings with many pastors and we ask "What do you think?", never "What does God think?"! God-discourse is radical. Make these your core questions and your ministry will begin to change. Your people will begin to think in terms of them.

In the Presence-Driven Church we use words like:

  • Abiding
  • Presence
  • Listening
  • Following
  • Leading
  • Discerning
  • Together
  • Hearing
  • Testifying
  • Experiencing
  • Formation
  • Transformation
  • Jesus-follower
  • Worshiper
  • Spirit-empowered
  • Praying
  • Real Jesus
These words, and others, form a core vocabulary which shapes expectations.

Ruth Haley Barton writes:

"Transforming community begins to emerge as we establish shared understanding about what spiritual transformation is, develop shared language for talking about and encouraging one another in the process, and embrace a shared commitment to arranging our lives for spiritual transformation." (Barton, Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community, Kindle Locations 133-134)