None of these things is bad in itself. We should belief the right things, act the right way, and have outer signs of our faith (faith without works is still dead). But a church that is focused on the perimeter loses its focus on the center, which is Christ.
Rather than focus on the line between “us” and “them”, what would it look like if the church was focused instead of Jesus and Him Crucified?
A church focused on the Center will understand that we are all journeying toward Jesus – sinners and saints. This journey then becomes a unifying thread between the found one and the lost one. Both need to be moved in the same direction, just in different increments and ways.
A church focused on the Center will allow the lost to experience the community of the found, for there the lost experience Jesus. This experience becomes a common experience between the lost and the found, a starting ground for conversation.
A church focused on the Center will view evangelism as discipleship, as it draws the lost toward Jesus and the found closer to Jesus. They will see that discipleship begins before conversion, not just afterwards.
The Center focused church creates less distinction between the lost and the found, as it views both as travelers journeying in the same direction and moves to create commonality between the two. When the lost and the found are together, the commonalities between them are readily apparent.
But the Center focused church will also create more distinction between the lost and the found, for the fruit of their lives will quickly display who is drawing close to Jesus and who is far from him. When the lost and the found are together, the differences between them are readily apparent.
This is a church I want to be a part of – a church that takes seriously Jesus’ call to full discipleship of those found and those lost.
What do you think a center focused church might look like?