On Persuading the Church to be Like Jesus

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of the local church, how the kingdom of God has an address on a neighborhood block.

In that post I described the kingdom of God as a people gathered who make and keep promises to each other. That particular description of what it means to be the church is becoming more and more important to me.

Last week I was in Tacoma talking to church leaders and pastors, and one of the things I said to them was that cultivating a covenantal imagination is the most vital and counter-cultural thing we can be doing in our churches.

Without that covenantal imagination--making and keeping promises to each other--the only binding agent available to the church, our only social glue, is liking and preference.

And you can't accomplish anything remotely missional, cruciform, sacrificial, or kenotic if all you have is liking and preference.

When all you have is liking and preference there is no capacity for spiritual formation. All you are left with is persuasion.

Without a covenantal imagination, all a pastor can do is try to persuade people to be like Jesus.

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