Monday, April 21, 2008

A Church Paradigm

Pastor Joe Thorn Full Paradigm for his church (Redeemer Fellowship, Chicago IL) entitled "The Table, The Pulpit and the Square."
The Table is the context in which our families practice hospitality. All families are encouraged to regularly welcome outsiders into their homes.

The Pulpit is the gathered church where the teaching of God’s word is central. This works itself out in three ways: 1) gathered worship, 2) small groups and 3) our discipleship system. 1 and 2 are clear enough. 3 (discipleship system) is the process by which we teach our people beyond the small groups and corporate worship. This will look different in every church. For us it is (and will develop to include) membership/gospel classes, periodic midweek classes (”Midweek Midrash?”) that will address specific issues, men and women ministries, etc. Outwardly the church is encouraging unbelievers to seek God with us, inwardly we are leading believers into maturity.

The Square is the church engaging the culture in four basic ways: 1) Participation, 2) Restoration, 3) Conversation and 4) Multiplcation.

Participation is our presence in the community we value and are a part of. We shop, eat and meet locally and are considered “regulars” in local establishments. This is the first and easiest level of entering the Square
I love his diagram - wish I could see a fuller treatment of his concept. Click on the link to review the whole thing.