Wednesday, January 25, 2006

How to be helpful

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." That phrase has stuck with me since I saw it on the cover of Forbes magazine many years ago. And there is much truth there.

I have been reading "The Church on the Other Side" by Brian McLaren and have found it to be a challenging read. Challenging in the sense that it dissects some thoughts that I held dear and makes me think about them.

On page 42 he offers 4 guidelines for evaluating programs in the church. They are not revolutionary, but they are extremely helpful.

1. Does this help uncommitted people (including uncommitted people disguised as nominal Christians) become followers of Jesus?

2. Does this help followers of Jesus become better followers of Jesus?

3. Does this enhance the development of authentic Christian Community?

4. Does this empower, equip, deploy the church for a missional identity for the good of the world?

The last two may cause some gastric reflux for many Christians. Too many of us are caught up in the "Jesus and Me" thing, where the only important thing is individual salvation. And the last one, working for the good of the world, will require some serious rumination to digest.

Think about these things, and let me know what your criteria are if they are different. I'd like to hear them.

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