Our Fellows haven’t worked much on the Daily Nudge, which asks what needs restoring in a church or in churches of their acquaintance. Hard to generalize. And dangerous. Best to talk particulars, about one or two or a few.
I’d hope the lack of responses on this question derives from busy schedules on this Thursday, Jan. 21, rather than a blind spot on our part. I know my friends, at least, I think I do, and they understand the importance of continuing to adhere ever closer to the NT pattern.
Having traveled around a bit and observed a few churches here and there across the Bible Belt, speaking of the U.S., I’d say that what still needs restoring is the sense of mission to proclaim the gospel, both locally and throughout the world. World evangelism, as per Acts 1:8, all the Great Commission texts, and the whole redemptive sense of Scripture.
In works about the church, writers often list some of the marks of the church: organization, worship, names (that a screwy one, for sure), etc. But I’ve yet to see someone list the mission of the church as one of its marks. We talk some about the work of the church, and then get lost in a triparte division of evangelism, edification and benevolence. So far so good, but, taking the latter, since it’s so much in the news as of late, nowhere is benevolence put forth as a work of the church, its reason for being. Feeding and clothing the poor, to be more specific, is not what the church is supposed to be doing.
I’m sure I’ll get flack for that, but there it is. And by doing so, that in a way proves my point. The church doesn’t know why it exists. That, in my view, is part of the reason for today’s so-called identity crisis.