Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Necessary Cultural Changes within the Church

All this week, I'm in a class focused on cultivating an environment conducive for individual and corporate transformation. Our large group times together are being taught and facilitated by Mindy Caliguire.

Mindy, founder of Soul Care, has an intense passion to see the local church become a place where people not only encounter the presence of the Living God, but also to maximize every means possible to assist people in their spiritual formation.

Spiritual Formation, in short, is the process of the image of Christ being formed within us, as the Apostle Paul longed to see happen with those in first century city of Galatia.

My dear children,
for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth
until Christ is formed in you.
Galatians 4:19

The local church
is one of the means in which God has ordained to be a facilitating conduit for such transformation to transpire.

Unfortunately, the church (as an organization) can at times allow itself to become captivated, driven by and focused on things, that while meaningful and well-intended, don't always result in intentional transformation of individuals and communities.

The following are a few cultural areas (pointed out by Mindy) that may need readjusting within our local context(s) in order to see spiritual formation in the local church:

  • We need to move away from a culture of pretending (and pretense) toward a culture of authenticity.

  • From a culture of power to service (and an organization that is more flat).
  • From consumerist church to identity (incarnation/presence). This causes the mindset to shift from what I get out of church, to bring clarity to who I am as a part of it… (This could similarly be seen as a shift from church entity centered to kingdom centered.)
  • From performance to dependence (from outcomes to source of strength).
    There’s a danger in mapquesting
    our own journey or the one of others…
  • From discipleship that is ignored discipleship that is intentional.
Can you think of other shifts that need to take place...?

2 comments: said...

Those are great thoughts and it sounds like it was a awesome class so thanks for sharing some notes.
Lately when it comes to culture I have been thinking about the internal aspects. Often we think of the external or preference aspects of culture that have more to do with style but are still a valid part of culture. Don't know if that makes sense or not.

Jerrell Jobe said...

Right on Angela...

There is a constant interaction between the external culture(s) around us and the internal culture within us...

We are shaped progressively by a number of forces and influences...

Often, church culture has migrated to an emphasis on the externals that can be measured by butts & budgets. And while these are helpful, they are not always accurate indicators that signficant and authentic internal shifts, growth, and formation are emerging within those 'counted-for'...

The shifts outlined in the post, are intended to help us have an eye for the ongoing and processive transformation that God intends to be transpiring within His people on a daily basis...

Are there some key thoughts you've pondered as it relates to "internal" culture changing, shifting, etc...?