Steal: Gospel Church vs. Maintenance Church

I stole this from James, it is taken from the Minutes of the PCA General Assembly in 1999.
Great Commission Pastor/Church             Maintence-Driven Church
(light giver)                                                   (light absorber)
– loves its community                                  – fears its community
– opening gates                                             – building walls
– tired, but loving it                                      – fatigue/frustration
– fellowship in ministry                                – fighting over details, personalities
– growth in grace/converts                         – numerical plateau or decline
– good teaching with focus on harvest       – teaching with no outreach objectives
– prayer for lost and harvest workers       – prayer focuses only on needs of members.
– focus on resources for harvest                 – resources focused on members only
It is interesting that a denomination like the PCA, which is currently experiencing considerable growth and is leading the way with church planting and world mission, had to consciously face this problem as recently as 1999.

I was really humbled reading this, because my negative attitude brings to mind all the worst things here. But, on reflection, things aren’t totally dire! Greyfriars focuses a lot of resources on reaching people outside the church – time and energy is spent on Campaigners, Kids & Co., Mission in Need; money is sent to missionaries, Roots; prayer is maybe a bit vague or unspecific when it comes to local needs, but is more focused when it comes to interceeding for missions.

I guess the big question for us is, “Do we love our community?” The answer to that – or the extent to which we can genuinely show that – will affect most of the areas where we are failing.