Living with Conviction
Romans 1:1-6

Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of Godó
Ro 1:2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures
Ro 1:3 regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David,
Ro 1:4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ro 1:5 Through him and for his nameís sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.
Ro 1:6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Church Trends
Seeker-sensitive; Self-help; Purpose driven; Emergent; Missional

As you can imagine most of my reading is on spiritual and church related topics. From time to time, I see patterns in the current writings. The first one I recall was the cry of books and articles to have Seeker-sensitive services. Next self-help books were on everyoneís must-read list and magazines were loaded with articles to help us develop a ďbiblicalĒ perspective on ourselves. Shortly after that Pastor Rick Warren wrote a book, The Purpose Driven Church suddenly writings instructing pastors and churches to be calculated in ministry spring up everywhere.

In the past couple years, articles and books about the Emergent Church and the Missional Church have been abundant. To explain the Emergent Church succinctly and not all that accurately; the Emergent Church as one which has rejected the traditional church culture. Church buildings and church lead ministries are minimal; replaced by rented facilities and individual involvement in community helps organizations rather than church led ministries. Missional Churches see themselves as a part of Godís mission to reach the world. They are churches that have abandoned a Come-and-see mentality for a go-and-do mentality.

Whether a church identifies itself as seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, emergent or missional is an important issue to those who try and keep up on such things. But in many ways these titles are nothing more than the latest fad, advertised and promoted much Calvin Klein or The Gap promote their latest and greatest product and ideas.

These books, articles and ideas sell because they are right. All churches should be driven by Christís purpose. All churches should be seeker-sensitive. All churches should be emergent, in that they should not be inappropriately attached to building or pet projects. All churches should be missional in understanding that we are sent by God to minister to the lost world and not visa-versa.

These church organizational strategies are developed because churches get lazy. Because we choose to take the easy-way rather than the best-way. But something interesting has been showing up in much of the literature I am currently reading: a call for Christians not