Presently it is cool to bash the church. I get it. Things go in cycles. We just lived through a fifty-year period from the end of World War 2 to the 1990’s in which church was an acceptable cultural norm by the vast majority of people. But now cynicism about the church is all the rage among the intelligent and the hip.
But, like you who read the various bloggers on this site, I am happily and merrily going along trying to plant as many churches as I can before I die. Why? I am trying, with the help of God, to stand in tradition of Jesus and Paul, not the funny guys on HBO or Comedy Central.
The Apostle Paul: My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God…has been doing…all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known… (Ephesians 3:8-11, The Message)
God, from Genesis to the present is always in touch with and at work in his broken world. True…totally true. But he is also at work creating the church. He works within the church even as he works in the world. I am trying to join him in that work.
When I plant new churches, I am not trying to extend the market share of a brand—in my case Anglicanism. I am trying to cooperate with God in his twin work: world and church. I am trying to create communities of the kingdom who will, for generations after I die, join with God in that work.
So let ‘em laugh, let ‘em bash and ‘em drip with cynicism. Because I am betting on God’s “extraordinary plan”, like you, I’ll keep planting churches that create followers of Jesus who “gather in churches”.