Perspective On How Church Should Be Modeled

2242 words - 9 pages

The context from which I bear the most knowledge is a congregational setting that would argue that it is a mystical community, but in its history it was viscerally the model was one of the Church as Institution. At the time of this independent church’s founding it was a part of a Pentecostal denomination which attempted to provide institutional means of governance for the individual churches it represented. Since it is a fairly young denomination, it might be fair to note that it gathered its model from the institutionality of the Catholic Church as a means of governance. The denomination had a head bishop who was elected from a pool of other bishops; these would be the equivalent of the Cardinals in the Vatican. Beneath the bishops were superintendents who managed and trained pastors as they planted congregations. As this particular congregation grew the founding pastor recognized the need to dissociate from the main denomination and enter into ministry as a non-denominational church. In essence this gave more autonomy to the congregation and ultimately to the pastor. This particular minister was often considered a benevolent dictator, which would be the type of leader needed for that time as everyone looked to him for spiritual answers. Historically in the denomination, since many of the congregants were poor and uneducated, the senior pastor was often the most educated person in the church. In those cases theological training often came after placement if it were available. Currently the church has a pastor that has roots in the Pentecostal denomination, but is ordained as an Anglican priest. The autonomy is still present, but there have been many desires to focus the church in more of a model of the church as sacrament. There is more emphasis on the calendar, communion (what the church calls the Eucharist), charismata, and the effective communal work of the congregation. To this I would offer my argument for the ideal church to be a church that models itself as a church of sacrament which is supplemented in its efforts as a church of servant. To give this model a name let us consider the church as example. The example the church would offer is a model of worship that symbolically offers the hope of Christ to a world in need of liberation by living out the sacrificial example of Christ to tangibly offer the effectual hope for which Christ died, to bring humanity into unity with God, humanity, and nature.
To defend this model of church as an example I will follow the mode of describing the model similarly to Avery Dulles in his book Models of the Church. The first mode is defining the model. In the West the Church has got to go through an intentional reflection and response to Millennial Generation as their reaction to and involvement in religion is different than any other time in the history of the United States. This particular generation is of particular interest because it is a large generation, due to its size it is...

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