Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our image of the church

I'm trying really really hard to get on with my Pastoral Ministry assignment. I am reading Donald E. Messer's Contemporary Images of Christian Ministry (Abingdon, 1989) and find that it is an excellent book. I may actually find myself quoting him in every other sentence as I write my paper, which I am trying hard not to do if I want to pass this module.

This I must quote here:
One's image or vision of the church is indeed pivotal to one's image of ministry. History abounds with evidence to confirm this theory. If one's model of the church is primarily that of a visible institution, complete with constitution, rules, rights, an powers, then one's understanding of ministry is likely to be hierarchical, managerial and dogmatic. (Messer, 81-82)

He is spot on.



  1. While the visible institution is certainly one of the images of the church the true image of the church should be all Christians, The Body of Christ, whatever name is on the building, but Jesus name in and on the hearts, being the hands, feet, mouths, eyes, ears, etc. of Jesus in our daily, hourly, moment by moment life ministering to the world around us where Jesus has chosen to place us.

  2. I would be fine if the titles of Pope and Senior Pastor were eliminated from our Christian vocabulary.

  3. A similar insight surfaced at our young adults discussion last week as we studied the life of Joseph:

    "The physical actions are merely the manifestations of the spiritual reality."

    That was refering to the hate of Joseph's brothers leading them to plot his murder.

    Unfortunately, not many people even realise that we must see everything with spiritual eyes, much less practise it.

    Meanwhile, in church we fight over insignificant trinkets like positions of influence and recognition of works...

    Chee Seng