By Shannon Youell and Cailey Morgan
Greetings from Banff!
We’re having a great time with many of you and many new friends enjoying the beautiful snow-caps mountains and the joy of hearing–over good food, of course–stories of God on the move in our churches.
Along with both gentle and exhortative words that speak to our shared heart and struggles we face as church leaders, our speakers have been guiding and encouraging us to look first to theology (who God is) as the framework for our ecclesiology (how we live out our faith as a church family).
A recurring theme from keynote Cam Roxburgh is the hopeful remark that our ecclesiological culture is starting to shift towards reengagement with the “blue ocean” segment of Canada’s population of those who don’t yet follow Christ. Blue ocean refers to the increasingly secular reality of our society: many do not feel a need for faith, or are even hostile to the Gospel. As Colin Godwin shared with us today, it seems that we are not so much the persecuted church here in Canada but the ignored church.
Like the story of Jonah that Jeff Gullacher has been unraveling for us this week, we can find ourselves in “pouty self-indignation,” completely missing the point of our calling which is joining in God’s missional heartbeat.
The pathway to reengagement that God our loving Father opens for us is one of honest, responsive repentance and relearning how to act out of His redemptive nature, joining Him on mission.
One resource that has been helpful for us as we process what it means to see ecclesiology through a theological lens is Brad Brisco’s ebook Rethink. We commend this book to you, and have made it available here on the blog for you, with permission from Brad. Let us know what you think!