A Missional Ecclesiology [In Brief] – Part II
Lesslie Newbigin, my favorite missiologist, tells us that God calls the church to be a sign and foretaste of his coming kingdom and an instrument by which more of the reality of the kingdom would be realized here on the earth.
Sign – The church is a sign of his coming kingdom pointing people to a reality that is right around the corner. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” The church becomes a sign when she understands who God has made her in Christ. Jesus calls us lights, and we are called to be signs that point others toward our God, his Son and his future.
Foretaste – The church is to be a foretaste, a place where people can get a taste of the future in the present. When the church is a foretaste she demonstrates what life is like when men and women live under the rule and reign in the power of the Spirit. It is to be a place where we encourage one another, forgive one another, love one another, exhort one another and live in harmony with one another. It is a place where miracles occur. In this way, the church becomes a concrete, tangible foretaste of the kingdom that is to come, though not perfect in form.
Instrument – The church is not just a sign and foretaste, but also an instrument, through which God’s will for justice, peace and freedom is done in the world.
So how does this happen? I will address this in part three of this series.