Bonhoeffer: The Church confesses…


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the pastor martyr who had been murdered by the Nazis clearly writes in his monumental dissertation, titled Ethics about the collapse of the West. He foresaw the threats and signs of this collapse we are afraid of now. He pointed out the key reason of the coming collapse is the moral decline of the Church in the West. He was convinced that the key to avoid this coming collapse of the West is in the hands of the Church. The Church has to confess her sins before God and publicly declare it before the world. In 1940 Bonhoeffer wrote a confession and encouraged the Church to own it and declare it. It was considered too radical than and since. Regardless how accurate and current it was and is. God’s long-suffering grace is the only reason why the West has not collapsed yet, although it’s signs are imminent. If more and more of us could honestly say and own this confession written 76 years ago to God, there might be a hope for the West.

As we read this confession, remember Bonhoeffer’s warning:

“If anyone stifles or corrupts the Church’s confession of guilt, his guilt towards Christ is beyond hope.”

“The Church confesses that she has not proclaimed often and clearly enough her message of the one God who has revealed Himself for all times in Jesus Christ and who suffers no other gods beside Himself. She confesses her timidity, her evasiveness, her dangerous concessions. She has often been untrue to her office of guardianship and to her office of comfort. And through this she has often denied to the outcast and to the despised the compassion which she owes them. She was silent when she should have cried out because the blood of the innocent was crying aloud to heaven. She has failed to speak the right word in the right way and at the right time. She has not resisted to the uttermost the apostasy of faith, and she has brought upon herself the guilt of the godlessness of the masses.

The Church confesses that she has taken in vain the name of Jesus Christ, for she has been ashamed of this name before the world and she has not striven forcefully enough against the misuse of this name for an evil purpose. She has stood by while violence and wrong were being committed under cover of this name. And indeed she has left uncontradicted, and has thereby abetted, even open mockery of the most holy name. She knows that God will not leave unpunished one who takes His name in vain as she does.

The Church confesses herself guilty of the loss of the Sabbath day, of the withering away of her public worship, and of the contemptuous neglect of Sunday as a day of rest. She has incurred the guilt of restlessness and disquiet, and also of the exploitation of labour even beyond the working weekday, because her preaching of Jesus Christ has been feeble and her public worship has been lifeless. The Church confesses herself guilty of the collapse of parental authority. She offered no resistance to contempt for age and idolization of youth, for she was afraid of losing youth, and with it the future. As though her future belonged to youth. She has not dared to proclaim the divine authority and dignity of parenthood in the face of the revolution of youth, and in a very earthly way she has tried “to keep up with the young.” She has thus rendered herself guilty of the breaking up of countless families, the betrayal of fathers by their children, the self-deification of youth, and the abandonment of youth to the apostasy from Christ. The Church confesses that she has witnessed the lawless application of brutal force, the physical and spiritual suffering of countless innocent people, oppression, hatred and murder, and that she has not raised her voice on behalf of the victims and has not found ways to hasten to their aid. She is guilty of the deaths of the weakest and most defenceless brothers of Jesus Christ.

The Church confesses that she has found no word of advice and assistance in the face of the dissolution of all order in the relation between the sexes. She has found no strong and effective answer to the contempt for chastity and to the proclamation of sexual libertinism. All she has achieved has been an occasional expression of moral indignation. She has thus rendered herself guilty of the loss of the purity and soundness of youth. She has failed to proclaim with sufficient emphasis that our bodies belong to the Body of Christ. The Church confesses that she has witnessed in silence the spoliation and exploitation of the poor and the enrichment and corruption of the strong. The Church confesses herself guilty towards the countless victims of calumny, denunciation and defamation. She has not convicted the slanderer of his wrongdoing, and she has thereby abandoned the slandered to his fate.

The Church confesses that she has desired security, peace and quiet, possessions and honour, to which she had no right, and that in this way she has not bridled the desires of men but has stimulated them still further. The Church confesses herself guilty of breaking all ten commandments, and in this she confesses her defection from Christ. She has not borne witness to the truth of God in such a manner that all pursuit of truth, all science, can perceive that it has its origin in this truth. She has not proclaimed the justice of God in such a manner that all true justice must see in it the origin of its own essential nature. She has not succeeded in making the providence of God a matter of such certain belief that all human economy must regard it as the source from which it receives its task. By her own silence she has rendered herself guilty of the decline in responsible action, in bravery in the defence of a cause, and in willingness to suffer for what is known to be right. She bears the guilt of the defection of the governing authority from Christ.”

Source: D.Bonhoeffer: Ethics, Ch III. Guilt, Justification and Renewal, The Confession of Guilt, Published by Simon and Schuster New York. 1995

We love stories

We all love stories. There is something in us that draws us to great stories. We laugh, cry, learn and get inspired by them. We live a story, it’s called life. Our innate fascination by stories points us to the Author who purposefully placed us in to the greatest play ever written. The humbling summit of that play is when the Author himself steps on to the stage. Only a few recognizes that the Author is incarnated into the story. Our celebrity focused sights are blinded to the humble arrival of this Author as a divine child. Without divine announcement we cannot recognize this Author. Without divine intervention the Author would never step on to the stage of our own story. Our story only has meaning if it radiates the focal point of that most magnificent moment of our Author’s play: His arrival on stage! Every story ever lived serves to glorify this Author. He entered on stage to “seek and save” (Luke 19:10). In this universal story we are the ones who were lost. The Author – out of His love – wrote us in to this story, He sought and saved us in this story, so He has the right to write our story as He pleases in the coming year, too.

By clicking here, you can open and/or download a story that the Author uniquely crafted. It’s a story that should never have happened yet it was divinely Authored. It’s a great read during a Christmas break.

Many Christmas blessings!

Advent: In God’s Waiting Room

waiting room

“Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” Psalm 27:14.

Advent is about waiting. Waiting on God. Waiting on God requires strength and courage, because waiting comes with a lot of unknown.

Only a courages, strong person can say that I don’t have the answers, but I’m waiting on God who has the answers. It takes tremendous courage and tremendous strength to stand in the wind of the unknown, to stand firm in the rain of unanswered questions, to be rock solid when facing uncertainty. Only a strong and courages person can be strong enough not to run ahead and find the answers, solve the problems, but to wait for the Lord.

Waiting is trusting. Waiting is confidence. Confidence not in us, but in God who has the answers, who holds the future and who designs our path. Waiting strengthens our faith.

We like answers, we like certainty, we like the well-known. We hate ambiguity, uncertainty, un-walked roads. We follow people who have the answers – even if their answers are wrong, but at least they seem to be confident.

But only very confident people are able to say this: “I don’t know, I don’t have the answers. But I’m totally secure, strong and confident in this unknown, because I follow the One who knows the answers, just he decided not to reveal those to me yet. But when He thinks it’s time for me to know, He will guide me.”

God has purposes with keeping us in the waiting room.

  • The waiting room of God uncover our true heart and our true identity. It reveals the ugly reality of our inner insecurities. It reveals our fears and panics. It reveals the naked reality of our soul. It reveals what we trust in, what we hope for, who we follow.
  • The waiting room of God teaches us that our security doesn’t come from the answers, from the known future, but from the One who knows the answers and who designs our future.

God has time. He prepared the most important event of history, the birth of His Son for many centuries. If He was willing to wait with that for so long, than we can be assured that at the right time, he will reveal and accomplish His will in our life, too.

So, until that, wait for the Lord! And in the meantime, be strong, take courageyour future is in the secure and loving hands of Jesus every day of your life!


said the chaplain. Died a violent death.
As he died to many things
he could become, or he could have.

Each decision made by faith
filled the coffin day by day.
Killed the fame, the respect and the ‘name’.
Murdered the fear, the self-pity and the blame.
Slaughtered positions, influence and success.
Buried relationship, passions and wealth.

said the chaplain. Slowly died
as each day he killed something he liked.
The lonely job of killing
made him think if he is willing
to continue on the path
with the cross on his back.

But looking up to Calvary,
watching the lonely face of the Suffering,
gave him strength to bend himself
to the cross he gladly grabbed.

said the chaplain. It was worth it,
because the One on That Cross deserves it.
Throw everything in the coffin:
fame, name, influence,
home, country, success,
friendships, relationships and wealth.
Close the coffin, put dirt on it.
Trust the One who can resurrect
to bring life to the dead.

It’s a funeral-
finished the chaplain -, the time to
celebrate, remember and farewell.

And suddenly the fiery pain of grief pervade
as I see on the coffin written:
My Name.

Where is God in the Refugee Crisis?

Facing the biggest crises of the past decades causes division and deep concerns in our societies and among Christians as well. The feeling of compassion for these refugees is mixed with the fear of the threat these masses could bring to our culture and lifestyle. Change is inevitable. The political reasons, approaches and solutions are so complex and manifold that it’s hard to comprehend, understand and handle them even for ones with many years of experience in politics. The Word of God commands us to pray for them so they would perform their difficult leadership duty with wisdom and power from God.

God’s Word doesn’t leave us without divine guidance, encouragement and hope in these hard days. The followings truths may help us put the current and the upcoming events in to an eternal perspective seeing God in everything that happens:

1. God is the Lord of History and the Ruler of the Nations. He is above the nations, He commands and they arise, He brings them forth from distant islands. He has not finished His works in history. We may prefer things going as they used to and what we are used to, but this is not the pattern we see in the Bible and in history. Here are some verses about this:

  • Psalms 96:10 – God will judge the peoples with equity
  • Psalms 47:9-10 – for the kings of the earth belong to God
  • Isa 14:26-27 – This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? – God makes the decisions on the fate of nations, including our country, Europe and all other peoples.
  • Isa 60:9 – Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your children from afar – movements of the nations are in His hand
  • Isa 60:12 – For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.

Since God is the Lord of history, this situation in our times is also under His power and supervision. He has never lost control. Sadly, too many believers, when it comes to shaking our known world, become practical atheist forgetting that everything happens is under the loving control of God. If our hair is numbered would God not keep this crisis under His control?

2. The Cross is the central event and message of history. God sees the existence of the whole world and history in and from the perspective of His Son. Before the beginning of the world and history He had decided that He would do everything by His Son, through His Son, in His Son and for His Son. Jesus Christ is the essence, the center, the origin and the aim of all existence. There is nothing that was not created for Him, through Him and by Him. God’s motivations in creation and history are centered around the person and works of Christ. Therefore the purpose of history is nothing but enhancing the knowledge of Christ’s person and works, and history is a means in God’s hands to fulfill the Great Commission. Ephesians chapter 1 beautifully describes that from the eternal past to the eternal future He did and does everything for Christ.

3. God’s purpose with all what is happening is spreading the gospel, making His love known for everybody. Challenges of history are the moments of grace for those who place themselves under God’s lordship, and the moments of judgment for those who reject His grace. These days are a huge opportunity of repentance for those nations that we could never reach otherwise. We, as the Church, could not go or was not willing to go to these nations, so God has brought the nations to us. God gave a command to the church to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth. His gospel is valuable, the souls of the lost are so priceless to Him that He will do everything to save even one person (Is 43:4). If we are afraid that the “Christian” Europe is becoming “Muslimized” then we either underestimate the gospel, the power of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit; or, we are afraid to face the potential sufferings, conflicts and sacrifices that proclamation of the gospel always required whenever it advanced. God’s people always grew under pressure – Israelites in Egypt under slavery multiplied just as the church expanded greatly during persecution. The gospel has always made progress amidst suffering and persecution. The Church has never been defeated by outer enemies. The gospel message has never been broken down by persecution. On the contrary. Jesus said that not even the gates of Hades can win over the Church (Mt 16:18). The Church and the cause of the gospel only had been significantly weakened from the inside. The lukewarm, uncommitted, closed minded, passive believers, paralyzed by their fears and not knowing the power of the Spirit are the real roadblocks to the gospel and the Church. Sufferings and hardships separate wheat and chaff, real and fake, and they always enhance the progress of the gospel. Our current situation also serves God’s purposes and the cause of the gospel.

The current crises reveal some difficult truth about us. What are we more concerned about: our country’s future or the progress of God’s Kingdom? Our culture or the gospel? Our lifestyle or the lost? Our purposes or God’s purposes? When the reality to obey to the Great Commission comes close and causes inconveniences, fears and comes with threats, then the reality of our hearts will be exposed. What if God wants to use this situation to save hundreds of thousands of people from hell and revive the church in Europe? Does he have the freedom to choose so? Yes. Can he do it? Yes. Will he do it? I don’t know. But I want to be available and ready if he decides so.

4. We have no reasons to be afraid. On the one hand, because being in God’s will is the safest thing even if everything changes and the world we used to know disappears. On the other hand, perfect love drives out fear (1John 4:18). I hear many people (Christians and non-Christians) talking fearfully about the progress of Islam in Europe. The concerns about Islamization of Europe and the increase of the threat of terrorism very well be justifiable, but we, who know the Lord can proclaim the gospel with boldness and love both to the strangers among us and to those who are afraid of them. Beside Islamization of Europe it is at least this big of a threat that lukewarm, liberal, cultural Christianity and joys and enticements of life seduce more and more Christians, and consumes the Church by shameful moral compromises.

5. Jesus will keep us accountable about what He has commanded to us. Here are some of those.

  • Love our enemies and do good to them – Mt 5:44-48. The one who fears is not made perfect in love – 1John 4:18.
  • Help the needy, because it is like doing it to Jesus – Mt 25:35-40.
  • Share the gospel with all nations – Mk 16:15. The nations are here now.
  • Pray for our leaders – 1Tim 2:2.
  • Respect the governments’ efforts to maintain order and obey its rules – Rm 13:1-4 – except if those are in conflict with God’s commands – Acts 5:29.

When, where and how we have to put these principles in practice: we all need to get to our own inner conviction before God.

6. God loves these refugees, Muslims or migrants just as much as He loves you and I. They bear the image of God just as much as you and I do. Christ died for them just as much as He died for you and I. It is only God’s grace that we are not in their shoes. You gave no more or less reasons to be loved by God than they did. If we had been born in their land, we would be like them and would be doing exactly what they are doing. We are not a bit better than they are. It is the sheer grace of God that we are not refugees and were not born in a Muslim country. We did nothing for being born here and being raised in this culture, we did nothing for getting to know Him and possessing all that He has given to us. All this is His free gift: our country, our culture, our circumstances, our skills, etc. We are among the luckiest few percents of the world. We should receive this grace with great thankfulness, humility and joy, and also with a sense of responsibility and obligation.

A City where God resides

“The name of the city…: The Lord is there!”  – Ezekiel 48:35

The book of Ezekiel closes with this stunning statement. A great promise and a desire we have: we all would like to live in a city that could be summed up with this sentence: The Lord is there. We all want to live in a city where God’s presence is there. We all want to live in a city where God himself would be willing to live in.

What is true about a city where God promises his presence and is willing to be there? Ezekiel gives some guidelines for us.

  • It’s a place of worship. (Ez 48:11. 14.) At the center of the land, the best part of the land and the most qualified people are dedicated to worship. It’s a city where a place (specific space) and proven, tested people are dedicated to serve God. It’s a city where worship is central, it’s at the focal point of the city. Everything is built around that sanctified place of worship. God resides in a city where there are places and people dedicated to worship him.
  • It’s a place of social justice and business integrity. (Ez 45:9-11.) In such city the law serves the poor and needy and those in power don’t abuse their power to change the law. In such city the law-system provides security, the business integrity provides prosperity and both together provides equal opportunities for everybody. God is willing to be present in a city where the law-system is fair, righteous and creates equal security and the business interaction is based on integrity enhancing prosperity of the whole community.
  • It’s a place of integration and not segregation. (Ez 47:21-22.) It’s a place where refuges, minorities find security, gets equal rights and opportunities with the original land owners. God lives in a city where immigrants, minorities, refugees are treated fairly, rights and properties are given to them and they are integrated into the majority society. It’s a place where racial and cultural integration happens.
  • It’s a place of work. (Ez 48:18-19.) It’s a place that provides work and people from different “tribes” come together for jobs. It’s city that is a multicultural work-environment.
  • It’s a place that has gates opened to every cardinals. It’s a place where the world comes together to interact. (Ez 48:30-34.) The city where God lives has opened gates to every direction to the world so people can come and go, can have access to the city, can influence it. It’s opened for people to come together from every cardinals to interact, to have business, to learn, to live, etc.. It’s not a closed, gated community, but an opened place for people from every cardinals to come and go.

This is the kind of city where God promises his presence and likes to reside in: 1. places and people are dedicated to worship; 2. social justice and business integrity provides security and prosperity; 3. racial and cultural integration happens; 4. jobs are provided; 5. it’s an opened, multicultural learning environment.

What can we do to make our cities to a place where God would want to reside in?

If you do the following, you contribute to a city where God resides: 

  1. Enhance worship – make your city a place where worship happens.
  2. Fight for social justice – stand against injustice, corroption, fight for good laws and help the poor.
  3. Have integrity in your business.
  4. Help integration, fight against segregation and racism.
  5. Create workplaces and jobs.
  6. Have your “gates” open to the world – learning mindset.

Christian Utilitarianism


The Christian form of utilitarianism is one of the most common ways we make decisions in our everyday lives, in our ministries and in our churches. It’s raw pragmatism maximizing the usefulness for as many people as possible spiced with the theology of stewardship over the resources we have (time, money, gifts, etc.). While in most cases utilitarianism is indeed helpful to make our decisions, at the same time occasionally it can be the most unchristian thing we do.

In John 12 and Mark 14 we read a fascinating story that contradicts everything we know about wise stewardship and pragmatic utilitarianism.

Mary poured out on expensive, real perfume, wasting a valuable resource on the feet of Jesus, wiping his feet with her hair. What an act of pure, caring love! The disciples (John identifies Judas here) points out that there is a better, more useful, more beneficial way of using that resource for the common good, for the purposes of our ministry (his real motives, of course, are revealed). The disciples were driven by utilitarianism, Mary was driven by love. Love is not always utilitarian. Love forces us to make wasteful, irrational, unuseful sacrifices. Love overwrites utilitarianism. Out of love we do things that does not make sense at all. Out of love we buy gifts to the loved one which money could be used in much better ways for the common good. Out of love we spend time having fun with a loved one which time could be used for more useful things. Utilitarianism is rational, pragmatic, resource-maximizing. Love many times is irrational and seemingly wasteful, but we never say it’s unuseful.

People became upset and angry with Mary because of how she has spent that valuable resource. It made people upset that out of love she wasted on the feet of Jesus what was hers anyway. How could people become angry when she owned what she gave and her act was a pure expression of love? They were not upset with Jesus, but they were upset with the one who made the sacrifice for him. Why? Because according the disciples there was a better use of that asset. They wanted to make a decision and determine what is the best way she could serve Jesus and use what’s hers. They wanted to control her contribution, her part, her role, her resources. (How many times I see that today from pastors and ministry leaders!) So they made a judgment on how she is going to spend what’s hers. But Jesus was not interested how well that resource was going to be used, but he was interested about the motives of that love-offering. Jesus attached a promise to her sacrifice: if the sacrifice is made out of love, no matter how irrational it is, it is going to be remembered forever. We don’t read another promise or comment like that in the whole gospel. The irrational, wasteful act of love will be remembered and proclaimed!

  • Is there any sacrifice you made and others didn’t understand at all why you use that resource this way? “It doesn’t make sense that you do this, or go there, or spend that time with that, or give that money for that.”
  • What is it that you view too dear, too expensive, too huge and could be better used, but God wants you to pour out?
  • We live in the wasteful society, wasting so many things. What are we willing to waste for him? Is there anything irrational unnecessary wasteful you did out of love for him?

If our life is nothing but a sequence of utilitarian pragmatism then we miss out the real essence of life: love.

And we won’t be remembered, because love makes things memorable!

In the prison of our circumstances?

“He was there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love, and gave him favor…” Gen 1:20-21

Isten terve

Joshep suffered unfairly, unjustly, wrongfully. He was left alone, forgotten, lost, far from his family, deprived from his freedom in a foreign culture. It seemed that regardless of his integrity and hard work the discreditable circumstances were tossing him from one wretchedness to another.

But the Lord was with Joseph. God was faithful to him while we could naturally draw the opposite conclusions from his circumstances.

The unchangeable and uncontrollable constraints, the unexpected, not planned, not desired events and circumstances are one of the most important tools in God’s hand to accomplish his will. We can see uncountable examples in the Bible to support that truth as well our lives are full of ample evidences for that.

None of us like to loose control and be tossed around by the circumstances. We don’t like when the constraints of the circumstances are taking the control out of our hands. Loosing control generates a lot of fear. Fear paralyzes us. At the root of fear we find the lack of trust: we don’t trust in God, our loving Father, who controls the circumstances of our life and use them for our good.

The unchangeable and uncontrollable constrains are a key tool in God’s hand through which he is:

  1. Taking us to the place where we need to be and will accomplish through us the things he wants us to do. Without those constrains we might not be where we need to be and would not do what we need to do. Joseph – without these forceful circumstances – would have never become a key leader in Egypt through whom God saved thousands of lives and his own family. But it came with a big personal price he had to pay. The pain over the losses he experienced was there. There is no change without pain.
  2. Accomplishing the change in us He wants to see. It’s too bad, but we only change when we are forced to change. We only grow as we leave our comfort zone and loose control. We don’t give up control without being forced to give up control. So God takes over the control at times so we would be forced to move to un-kown territories.

While we feel that the forces of the circumstances are tossing us around in the storm of life, the story of Joseph offers at least two encouragement to us:

  1. God is not the captive of the circumstances, but he governs them.
  2. It’s under our power and control to decide how we react to the things that happen to us. (I.e.: other people are rejecting us, or they are indifferent, or our kids become sick, or we are going through a financial crises, or we have a change in our work, etc..)

The example of Joseph proves that while he had no power over his circumstances, God was with him in those “out-of-control” situations and Joseph kept under his power how he reacted to the situation: he was faithfully and diligently did everything he could without complains. Joseph couldn’t control the situation, but could control himself in the situation. The circumstances, the fear, the hopelessness didn’t paralyze him. He didn’t turn to the bottomless pit of self-pitty.

The person we become under the un-controllable constrains and circumstances God brings in to our lives is equally important as the mission God wants to accomplish through us. 

Our own life is our primary mission field.

All things work together for good?

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” – Romans 8:28

There is nothing that’s not included in the “all things”.

All things include sickness, losses, hurt, changes, pain, difficulties, challenges, financial issues, ministry issues, unmet expectations, unmet dreams, government decisions, surprises, disappointments, isolation, etc. etc..

Pretty bold statement. Sometimes I have a hard time to practically believe and live this passage. I say that God is good and He wants good for me, but sometimes when stones and huge rocks blocks my journey, it’s hard to believe it and feel it.

Loving God means that we trust a God who wants good for us. We need to believe that God is good and God wants good for those who love Him. Who would want to follow a God who doesn’t want good for his followers? That would not make sense! We follow a good God who wants good for us – he proved that for us in many ways, but most importantly through his Son’s death. How could a God be bad who gave his Son for his enemies? (Rm 8:32)

But this promise doesn’t include 3 things that we automatically mean and believe when we hear this promise.

  1. What is good? This promise doesn’t give us the authority to define what’s good. God defines good for us. We don’t know what is good for us. Those who love God have to trust God to define “good” for them. It’s better for God to define what is good because He is good and we are not. How could fallen, sinful, finite, selfish creatures define what is good better then the holy, loving, perfect, good, self-sacrificing God? Why do we have such a hard time to trust in God’s hand what is good for us?
  2. When it’s good? This promise doesn’t give us the authority to set the timing and define when this should work out for good. Those who love God have to turn over timing in their life. They don’t control when things should happen in their life. God controls timing in their life. Who is better to define timing: us, who are limited by space, time and understanding or God who lives above space, time and is able to put into consideration everything? Isn’t make more sense to trust him than us?
  3. How it’s good?  This promise doesn’t give us the authority to define how this will be worked out for our good. Those who love God have to trust how God will accomplish this good. God controls the means. Who has more power, ways, means, resources to do those good for us: God or us?

So why do we try so hard to limit God’s goodness to us by demanding and dictating what good he should do, when he should it and how he should it? We are our own enemies if we try to limit the goodnes of God by distrusting his ways, timing and means.

Loving God (beside of being obedient to Him) means that we turn over the control of what, when and how he works out things for our good. This promise is only true for such lovers of God.

We believe this theoretically, but when things starts to fall out of our control we have a hard time to trust and believe that God’s definition, timing and means of good will happen through the challenges we are in and this is his will for our good!

The Challenge of the Church in the 21st Century

Our action reflects our vision. Our vision reflects our view of God.

In a migrating, multicultural, innovative, fast-changing, urbanized, global environment where the world is facing never seen mega problems, the church is a static, monocultural, rigid, slow-changing, suburban, closed entity driven by small, narrow visions focusing on shamefully ridiculous issues and on micro problems, not even dreaming about helping and collaborating to ease the pain of the mega sufferings of the world. The church got paralized by these gigantic problems, instead of getting empowered by our magnificent God who is bigger than these problems are. We talk about a big letter GOD, but our action, vision and life reflects a small letter god.

The 1st Century church was a multicultural, migrating, moving, fast-changing, city-centered, innovative, radical, Spirit-filled community of believers who turned the world upside down. They were led by 12 + 1 (with Paul) Spirit-filled, apostolic, radical and empowering leaders who took it seriously who Jesus is and their calling to go to the whole world. Their view of God was reflected in their actions. Such is ours. The difference is embarrassing.

What does the Church needs now?

SPIRIT-FILLED, COLLABORATING, VISIONARY, PROPHETIC, EMPOWERING LEADERS WITH WORLD-VISION. The Church through her history had been mobilized and empowered through such leaders. Nothing substitutes the envisioned, mobilized, empowered, Spirit-filled multitudes of believers. That always happened through such leaders.

INNOVATIVE LABORATORIES. We need to form “laboratories”, think-tanks, with people who will do research, try new things, experiment, fail and succeed, etc.. We need to accelerate the “Acts 15 moments” where the Body of Christ came together to recognize that God is doing something new. We need more of these moments that God is doing something “new”. If we don’t expand the borders of the church now than the world will expand his. The world is winning by being much more aggressive and innovative.

DIVERSITY. Diverse teams need to be put together with the best innovators, who already built new models and are called to be on the very frontline of the ministry. These teams need to have members who truly embrace this cosmopolitan world and are willing to become “Greek for the Greek, and Jew for the Jew”. Apostle Paul built a diverse team which was very innovative, fast, and led a major paradigm shift in many ways.

CITY-FOCUS. Such teams need to be placed into potential and influential cities – that is influential in education, media, economy and arts and which cities are diverse.  The church needs to collaborate to put those teams together. Apostle Paul went to key cities of his age.

The church needs to form Paul-like teams with Paul-like leaders, vision, innovation-capacity, flexibility, with Paul-like focus. That is absolutely essential for the future of the global Body of Christ.