“When we as a community of Christ-followers demonstrate our life in Christ together through our feeling of Scripture, our prayer, our fasting, our service, and our relational intimacy, we create a compelling announcement of the kingdom’s presence in the world.”- Jared C. Wilson
Jared Wilson concludes Chapter 6 of The Imperfect Disciple as he notes idolatry never is far from any of us. In the life of the church, this takes the form of wish dreams. Dietrich Bonhoeffer first described wish dreams in Life Together. Pastor Bonhoeffer wrote:
“When a person become alienated from a Christian community in which he has been placed and begins to raise complaints about it, he had better examine himself first to see whether the trouble is not due to his wish dream that should be shattered by God.”
Furthermore, Pastor Wilson observes, the wish dreams of church folks center around their church experience or community. In addition, they may want wish dream pastors. However, Jared states, “wish dreams . . . quench the Spirit’s working in the real stuff of church and ministry.”
As Pastor Wilson notes, too many church folks expect their pastors or churches to complete them. In other words, to virtually “be Jesus” to them. Most importantly, only Jesus can be Jesus to us. He’s the only Messiah.
Therefore, Jared states, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount contains a brilliant, God-designed blueprint for kingdom life. Jesus’ Sermon envisions a community called, formed, and led by God into worship and outward mission.
In conclusion, this means we must diligently preach a gospel we embody and embody the gospel we preach. Thus, we need to embrace both gospel-driven proclamation (light) and gospel-driven servanthood (salt). Nothing stops a loving force of that magnitude!
Today’s question: How does your current church witness as a community of Christ-followers? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The gospel – good news for the stuck”