Tuesday, August 19
What marks Christians as God's people is that they have become a community that worships God in spirit and in truth. This is what the church must aim at in mission. Mission does not seek to turn sinners into saved individuals; it seeks, rather, to turn disparate individuals into a worshiping community. The preoccupation of the modern church with numbers often misses the real goal of mission. Instead of turning out fine works of art, the modern church tends to models its mission on the mass-production factory. The church becomes an efficiently run factory. We then market the megachurch as the model of a successful church. Is it any wonder that grandiose strategies of winning the world for Christ have produced a bloated church whose ways and values are not very different from those of the world? The ministry becomes departmentalized (again, like a mass-production factory), mission is left to church-growth specialists, counseling is done by professionally trained counselors, and the pastor serves as a CEO.
~ Simon Chan, Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community, p. 45. Dr Chan, an Assemblies of God denominational leader and scholar on Pentecostalism, is professor of theology at Trinity Theological College in Singapore.