What is the Church?....
What is the Church supposed to do?....
These are questions we’ve all asked, and if you talk to different people you’ll often get a variety of answers, some hopeful and others cynical, depending on the person’s history and relationship with the Church.
For the Boiler Room, as we’ve really come to see ourselves as a church and sought to gain a biblical perspective on the question, it comes down to the simplicity of being the family of God that is expressing his Kingdom in all the earth.
But what does it actually look like?
It is a Kingdom in that begins with transformation at the heart of every person. It doesn’t matter how great the systems are, if the human heart is not transformed there will still be oppression. We also need to be reconciled to God, one another and all creation as our eyes are opened to our value and purpose in Christ as a part of his family.
In the book of Acts we see what this kingdom looks like lived out by the Church: people receiving the transforming love of Jesus by the power of the Spirit in such a way that it completely reorients their lives around God’s Kingdom. They love one another like family, and each take seriously the call to live out the Kingdom together and tell others about the saving work of Jesus: the Gospel (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37; 11:19-24).
But it was not just the multiplication of individual disciples, but the multiplication of families. We see a pattern emerge from the Apostles, often called the Pauline Cycle (Acts 13-14; 16-20): Paul demonstrated and proclaimed the gospel in strategic cities, then gathered the new believers to equip them in the gospel to make disciples in all of life and he trained leaders to continue that work as he went on the start the process in other places.
Over time the church became a network of families that were relationally connected, with local leaders (Elders, Deacons) bring stability and translocal leaders (“Ministers of the Gospel” like Peter, Paul, Barnabas, Timothy) extending the family throughout the earth.
This is the Kingdom vision God is growing in our hearts: Grand Rapids transformed by Jesus as every person, family and neighborhood is reconciled to God and one another!
Though we feel him expanding our imagination to see Grand Rapids filled with these transforming and reconciling communities, we feel him focusing our work to accomplish this more effectively:
First, we want to mobilize prayer in Grand Rapids to pursue unity with the Church of the city as we seek the Spirit’s guidance and power together.
Second, to equip our community to make disciples in both our shared mission field (the Westside) and our personal mission fields (our families, friends and workplaces).
And lastly, as our church community is committed to this neighborhood, we want to train leaders to extend the work by planting missional church communities in other parts of Grand Rapids, all working together to bring transformation in our city.
Over the summer we’ll be sharing more details about each of these three areas of work to help give a clear picture of how the Lord is leading us toward this vision of city transformation!
:: Coop ::