Ed Stetzer has a new blog entry in which he describes the five necessary characteristics that are needed to be an effective church revitalizer. Now on the surface there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the characteristics that he lays out in his article. The big question I have is: Why is church revitalization even necessary?
The main theme in this article if you read it is the church should be treated the same way you treat a fortune 500 business that is losing its edge. You need to focus on leadership, organizational ability, and relational patience to name a few that he mentions.
He states, “At one church I served at, the leadership team had been elected to their positions and many were business leaders.”
So the first question I’m going to raise is: Is such a position warranted in Scripture? To answer this question we goto the Scripture
itself and the well known, ‘Great Commission’ verse in Matthew 28:16-20 [KJV]:
“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
So we can see from this section of Scripture that the role of the Church is to teach the nations, baptize them in the name of the Trinity, and ensuring the observance of said teaching and all of Christ’s teaching. What you see is Stetzer’s Arminianism coming out that silently asserts that Scripture and God’s providence and grace is not enough and that in order for the Church to be successful man’s ingenuity and efforts are needed to ensure that the church continues to be revitalized and not to grow stagnant.
When most Christians think of Arminianism they usually think of it just in terms of of the doctrines of grace and not in terms of how you define what the Church is and what it’s role is within the bounds of Scripture. Like Calvinism it permeates all facets of the Christian life, so if the root is corrupt, so will its branches be.