Monday, July 25, 2016

THE WORLD IS OUR PARISH

I want to suggest that the cutting edge of mission in our time, especially for churches in North America, is to reclaim John Wesley's vision that “the world is our parish.” Wesley came by it naturally, because Christianity is a world-embracing religion.

+ It is a faith founded on the presuppositions that God created the whole world and pronounced it good.

+ It is a movement whose call is understood in terms of the call of Abraham and Sarah to be a blessing to all the nations.

+ It is a community of moral discourse centered in the prophets who reminded the Israelites and who remind us that justice and righteousness are at the heart of what God calls us to be about.

+ It is a faith centered in John's announcement that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son (John 3:16).

+ It is a witnessing fellowship centered in Jesus Christ who gave us the Great Commission to go into all the world and to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:16-20).

+ It is a church, born at Pentecost, only when people are gathered together from every language and tongue and nation.

+ It is a faith community that sent the disciples out to turn the world upside down for the Gospel (Acts 17:6).

-- Clifton Kirkpatrick in Perspectives, February 2005


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