Thursday, July 17, 2008


One of the major issues facing us today is the issue of being clear on our Ecclesiology. I am greatly encouraged by the emphasis we are seeing on being missional however the great danger is a missiology without a clear ecclesiology. Mark Driscoll helpfully began his second main session with the Newfrontiers leaders by giving us eight defining marks of what constitutes a church. It is evident that Driscoll has a very clear understanding of ecclesiology along with being very missional. He presented eight points that he believes clearly defines church as follows:

1. A regenerated church membership
2. Called and gifted church leadership
3.. A regular gathering of believers for the preaching of the Word and Worship
4. A church is a place where the Sacraments are rightly administered.
5. A unity and love which is the evidenced work of the Holy Spirit among His people
6. A place where people experience church discipline in order to walk uprightly
7. A place where people practice the Great Commandment to love one another and our neighbors
8. A place where people actively obey the Great Commission to make disciples

Driscoll then proceeded to outline various views and practices of the way people see the church.

1. Some would see the church as a bomb-shelter and rather than engaging culture preach against it.
2. Some would see the church like a mirror and mirror the values and practices of the culture. Rather than affecting and converting culture the church is in fact converted by culture.
3. Some would see the church as a parasite. They take from culture rather than giving to it. I.e. not serving the poor, not doing good to benefit the city.
4. Some see the church with the biblical view of a city on a hill and thus become a city within a city. This church loves the Bible, is grace filled, and expresses the power and presence of God to the city.

Driscoll after carefully presenting his ecclesiology then moved on to the church as a missional community by identifying twelve aspects of a missional church.

1. A missional church sees itself as an outpost with a view to expand and add disciples of Jesus. A missional church should not be defined by the number of people in a room on a Sunday but rather as the number of people on mission together.
2. A missional church sees every believer in that church as a missionary. A people eager to reach the unbelieving. A church that shares the gospel at each gathering making it easy for people to bring unbelieving friends to the gathered church meetings. Equipping people to live in such a way as to be able to find opportunity to share the life of Jesus.
3. A missional church is aware of and engaging its local culture. Aware of media program's, music, movies, local issues, print media, all in order to be educated and prepared to engage culture.
4. A missional church contends and contexualizes the gospel, giving itself by all means to save as many people as possible.

Mark spent a great deal of time on point three and four and therefore did not complete all twelve aspects of a missional church. I recommend again that you go to the Newfrontiers international website for the free download of this message.

I was very pleased that Mark had set out a strong case for what constitutes the church before engaging the issue of being missional. There is much to appreciate about this man and I must say very exciting to hear someone who has such significant influence tracking the way he is. We have so very much in concert with Driscoll in Newfrontiers. I found him very provocative, bold and yet gracious. He said things to the five thousand leaders gathered from more than fifty nations representing Newfrontiers that we need to hear and digest. In particular in this talk he addressed the issue of multiple meetings and multiple campuses which has not been the norm for many of our churches. After this talk many leaders made their way to the various restaurants in Brighton to discuss this preach. It was my impression that the entire place was really buzzing.

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