Most of us remember learning the hand activities that went along with the rhyme . . .

here is the door here is the steeple open the doors and see all the people
What does “hand church” teach us about church? Click to the next slide to see what others said.

“Hand Church” Lessons
1. There is an assumption regarding what a church should look like (steeple) 2. You have to go into the building in order to see the people. 3. People are not the church . . . they are only inside of the church. 4. Church is a building. Check out the video WHAT IS THE CHURCH? on the Message Resource page before moving on.

Why this Series?
1. As we prepare to introduce our ministry vision for Renew Community Church I want to give us some of the why behind the what. 2. We talk about church in ways that make us loose focus. Check out the examples on the next slide.

Common Expressions
“I am going to church tomorrow” We refer to the church as a building “Church was awesome this morning” We refer to church as an event. “What type of church is it?” We refer to the church as a system of doctrines and traditions Can you think of any? Leave a post with your input!

Why this Series?
1. As we prepare to introduce our ministry vision for Renew Community Church I want to give us some of the why behind the what. 2. We talk about church in ways that make us loose focus. 3. The major shifts in our culture are forcing us to reexamine the church’s identity, purpose, and practices. Watch the POST-CHRISTENDOM PANEL video at the Message Resources page before moving on.

Post Christendom
“the culture that emerges . . . 1) as the Christian faith loses coherence within a society that has been definitively shaped by the Christian story and 2) as the institutions that have been developed to express Christian convictions decline in influence.”
Stuart Murray Post-Christendom: Church and Mission in a Strange New World

Seven Shifts
These seven shifts indicate the post-Christendom nature of our strange new world. 1. From the centre to margins In Christendom the Christian story and the churches were central, but in post-Christendom these are marginal. 2. From majority to minority: In Christendom Christians comprised the (often overwhelming) majority, but in post-Christendom we are a minority.

Seven Shifts
3. From settlers to sojourners: In Christendom Christians felt at home in a culture shaped by their story, but in post-Christendom we are aliens, exiles and pilgrims in a culture where we no longer feel at home. 4. From privilege to plurality In Christendom Christians enjoyed many privileges, but in post-Christendom we are one community among many in a plural society. 5. From control to witness In Christendom churches could exert control over society, but in post-Christendom we exercise influence only through witnessing to our story and its implications.

Seven Shifts
6. From maintenance to mission In Christendom the emphasis was on maintaining a supposedly Christian status quo, but in postChristendom it is on mission within a contested environment. 7. From institution to movement: In Christendom churches operated mainly in institutional mode, but in post Christendom we must become again a Christian movement.

Centrality of the Church
1. Jesus told his disciples that he would build his church (Matthew 16:18) 2. The apostles understood the Great Commission to be about planting churches. Acts 15:36, 40-41 36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

The Church is . . .
We will use the following definition as a framework for this series and will be developing one phrase each week. people created in the image of God responding in faith to his provision under his rule serving his purposes in meaningful community with him and others

Sow What?
Spend some time thinking about how you use the word “church” and how you have though of it. 1. Make an effort to only use it to refer to God’s people. 2. What has church meant to you? Has it been a place to go to, an activity to participate in, or a community of people to be part of? Reflect on the shift to post-Christendom. 1. Do you see evidence of this in your own social network? 2. What do you think is required for the community of God’s people to faithfully respond to this shift?

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