Saturday, March 03, 2018

The First Task of the Church Is to Be Itself

Image may contain: night, sky and outdoor
Cancun moon rising, cruise ship in the distance
Stanley Hauerwas said, "The first task of the church is to be itself."

Miroslav Volf writes that the church that wants to survive and flourish in these dark, marginalizing days, must emphasize its distinctiveness.

Moses said, how will people know we are distinct if your presence is not with us?

To be yourself implies not striving to be someone else. Today, and perhaps ever since the Garden, masses of humanity are trying to be something other than their own selves. Since we are what we desire (see here), and we desire what we are not, herds of people are mindlessly seduced by the marketers of relevance (see here, e.g.).

Church - be yourself? And what might that be? My candidate for the church's core identity is the presence of God, with its many implications. My intent is to start the conversation with my book Leading the Presence-Driven Church.