Friday, February 20, 2009

The power of a name

Ever since the emergence of the Driscoll phenomenon (a man I'm entirely grateful to God for, a phenomenon I'm continually cautious about), and particularly his visit in late 2008 to Sydney, there has been a real shake-up and swell of discussion and initiative in the evangelical circles of australia. I can immediately think of a half-dozen young men either involved in some go-getting church-planting, or working towards church-planting. There are also a lot of discussions about church-planting, conferences, etc., etc..

Some of it is very helpful. Some things really do need to be shaken up and broken down, to proclaim jesus to more people and see many saved by the glorious grace of the gospel.

But some of it is very unhelpful. It's about names. It's about making a name for oneself. It's about associations with other names. The question of 'who will succeed?' as a church-planter, in a very 'who will build a contemporary independent missional mega-church in sydney kind-of-way.

I'm more convinced than ever that there is a lot more talk than anything else. I love church-planting, I would love to see many more church-plants take place and take flight, and many people come to know Jesus. But I'd love to see a lot less, hear a lot less. I myself must continually remind myself that I'm not in 'this business' of preaching Jesus to make a name for myself. That's the whole anti-thesis of Genesis 11:1-9 and Acts 4:12.

More dying to self, more proclaiming Jesus rather than our name, more ground-work, trench-fighting, real-ministry, living God glorifying lives in the everyday in real community with ordinary believers and tragically lost sinners like ourselves.

3 comments:

David Ould said...

I'm with you Seamus. It's a great thing that they've had a conference and it looks like it wil get things running but when you look at the photos almost everyone is wearing a short-sleeved figure-hugging shirt with at least one appliqué logo on it.;-)

Mark said...

I agree too Seumus, but I still rejoice that people are at least ready and willing to plant churches and proclaim Jesus. Along the lines of Paul:

'What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice'

Seumas Macdonald said...

Quite true, Mark. I don't want to be too negative! I rejoice and pray for these efforts and initiatives. And I look forward to the Spirit working through them.