The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Friday, September 03, 2004
Becoming a Truly Wholistic Church
The PCA online magazine ByFaithOnline recently posted an article "Becoming a Church that Changes the World" which argues for the importance of reaching out into the community in ways that go beyond "mere" evangelism. The article approvingly sites Ron Siders book Churches That Make a Difference: Reaching Your Community with Good News and Good Works :

Part 2 [of the book] builds on this foundation by examining the essential components of a holistic congregation. Our research suggests that these elements include: 1) an ability to balance the nurture of members with outreach; 2) a knowledge of and love for the community surrounding the church; 3) a clearly communicated theology and vision for holistic mission; 4) an integration of a holistic vision into the internal life of the church; 5) a base of healthy, loving relationships; and 6) the leadership calling and equipping the members of the congregation to action.

The problem with the article (and Sider's book) is that it doesn't go far enough. Its vision of "good works" is too truncated.

"Good works" must include culture-making as well. That was our original calling to "work" in our pre-redemptive, pre-fallen state.

Culture is the missing ingredient toward making churches truly wholistic and balanced.