Welcome to the third of seven articles in response to the Lausanne Theology Working Group's paper on "The Whole Church Taking the Whole Gospel to the Whole World." If you've not had a chance to read the paper, you can do so by following these links:
You can also read all seven parts of this series here.
2. Regarding the Whole Church (continued)
Also in the section devoted to defining the Church, I found an interesting warning.
"Of course every church ought to understand and live out its essentially missional identity as God's holy people in the world. But we want to stress that the church exists for God, and should not be used as a convenient local franchise for the delivery of external strategies, objectives and targets." (p. 17, full version)
As I said, a very interesting paragraph. But, I'm left scratching my head a bit. What exactly is meant here? I’m sure I could speculate, but I wonder if there are some specific examples of this that members of the LTWG has in mind. If so, I think it would be very helpful to know what they are. I don’t mean that we need very specific details (names, addresses, etc.). No, but what does this look like?
Question #3 – What does it look like when churches, denominations, or other Christian entities use the local church as a “franchise for the delivery of external strategies, objectives and targets”? What specific dangers along these lines are most commonly manifest around the world? What does this tend to look line in the context of large and also small local churches?