Monday, April 30, 2012

A New Paradigm of Being the Church

"This is not the work of a three-step, six-month plan. Nor is it a new strategy at all but a mode of individual and collective being. What I am suggesting again is a new paradigm of being the church in the late modern world. The institutional aspect of faithful presence means that Christians and the church are settling in for the duration.

The Christian tradition has a long history of doing precisely this work in everything from the patronage of the arts and the establishment of schools and universities to the creation of hospitals and institutions that care for the poor and the needy. These were all institutions that practiced faithful presence. The church and Christians everywhere must do this again in ways appropriate to the times. Indeed, there are intellectual, economic, and managerial resources available within the church and among Christians to make a profound difference in every sphere of life- the social welfare of the needy, the environment, education, the arts, academia, business, community formation and urban life, and so on; and at every order of magnitude- the local, the regional, the national, and the international. This will invariably mean collaboration, networking, mutual dependence, and institution-building. At times Christians will go it alone and at times they will partner with those of other faiths and none. But it all should be oriented toward enhancing the well-being of all."

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