Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Holiness: Not just for breakfast anymore...

Not sure why I haven't heard of this before finding it online. Maybe someone told me at some point, and I was just too distracted to know what they were talking about. I don't pay enough attention sometimes. Ah well...glad to have stumbled on it.

Over the past 4 years, at least 10 denominations have been gathering together, studying/discussing/preaching/living/etc...this message of "Holiness". They've compiled a lot of what has been talked about in a book called, "The Holiness Manifesto".

This project includes discussions from: Free Methodist, Church of God (Cleveland & Anderson), Brethren in Christ, Nazarene, Wesleyan, Salvation Army, Evangelical, FourSquare, Shield of Faith, Christian Missionary Alliance (US & Canada).

Most noticeably, for my Nazarene friends: a chapter by Craig Keen
and for my Free Methodist friends: a chapter by Bishop Kendall, and Howard Snyder.

This next paragraph captures well, I think, why this topic could be very important to our churches that are beginning to realize "saving souls" is not, and can not be the "main focus" of a vital body of Christ. Why worrying about how many numbers of people have "asked Jesus into their hearts" this past year is not the best way to make sure our church is alive and contributing to the Kingdom.

From "The Holiness Manifesto" (the paper on the website, not the book):

"Many church leaders have become hostages to the success mentality of numeric and programmatic influence. They have become so concerned about ‘how’ they do church that they have neglected the weightier matter of ‘what’ the church declares. We have inundated the ‘market’ with methodological efforts to grow the church. In the process, many of our leaders have lost the ability to lead. They cannot lead because they have no compelling message to give, no compelling vision of God, no transformational understanding of God’s otherness. They know it and long to find the centering power of a message that makes a difference. Now more than ever, they long to soak up a deep understanding of God’s call to holiness—transformed living.
They want a mission. They want a message!"

I've just ordered the book, and looking forward to the impact this reminder of Holiness may have on the ministries God allows me to be a part of...

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