Not just any ‘ol church will do. Not if we’re going to turn around Christianity’s acknowledged decline in the West. And after tracing the Biblical theme of “the Land” from Genesis to Revelation, a big part of our future will be – needs to be – the integration of two things we usually separate: 1) salvation; and 2) relief & development. In particular we need what Bryant Myers called a “development ecclesiology”:
“There has been little fresh thinking on development ecclesiology. Yet the question of the relationship between the Christian relief and development agency and local churches remains both unclear and problematic . . . Are churches mini-development agencies, members of civil society, or something else altogether?” in Walking With the Poor, p. 49, emphasis added.
Biblically, churches are something else altogether . . . and that’s what the phrase “kingdom outpost” is meant to signal. We’ll be unpacking the general idea of kingdom outposts in the next few posts. In the meantime, how do you think “church” and “relief & development” go together?