A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called “A change in diet and exercise for me… and for the church.” I explained that the doctor had recently advised me to change my diet and exercise, or I might be headed toward an unhealthy life. I’ve learned more about what a healthy diet and exercise means for me. But what about for the church.
This week I’m going to explore the question, “What would be a healthy diet for the church?” Next week, in another series, I’m going to investigate the question, “What exercise helps the church remain (or become) healthy?”
So… what would be a healthy diet for the church?
Now, obviously, there are two different ways to think about the word “diet.” First, “diet” refers to the kind of food that an organism takes in. Second, “diet” refers to restricting the amount of food in order to lose weight.
In this series, I’m thinking more about the first use of the word “diet.” The kinds of food that an organism takes in affects the way that organism lives. In the case of humans, the type of food helps determine whether or not a person is healthy or not.
Now, taking this metaphor into the realm of the church (another organism), what kinds of “food” should the church take in order to be healthy?
As I’ve thought about this question over the last couple of weeks, I’ve realized that there are several approaches that I could take to try to answer this question. Each approach has benefits, and each approach can be misunderstood.
I’ve decided to look at the source of the “food” that the church takes in. I’ve divided the sources into three types: 1) directly from God, 2) from other believers, and 3) from others. Now, in reality, all “food” for the church comes from God. However, in some cases, God works more directly; but in other cases, God communicates in a more indirect manner.
I’m certain that some people will disagree with my categories (sources), and others will disagree with what type of “food” I would put in each category. That’s fine. This is a metaphor, and I’m interested in hearing your input. So, please share it with me.
As with a human diet, I believe the church’s diet should be “balanced.” I’ll explain more about what that means as I examine each “source” listed above. That may seem strange. It may seem (at first) that the church should desire only direct communication from God (the first source I listed above). However, I hope after reading through each article you will understand why I still suggest that a “balanced” diet is better.
So, for now, I simply ask these question: What “food” do you think the church should take in to remain healthy? How would you break the “food” into different types (categories/sources)? And, what do you think of my plan so far?
A Healthy Diet for the Church Series
2. “Food” given directly by God
3. “Food” given by God through other believers
4. “Food” given by God through nonbelievers/society/culture