Monday, January 12, 2009

Incomplete conversion

I saw this quote by William Barclay the other day. I was struck with how "current" it sounded. Not that 1967 is that long ago, but I think the missional conversation (or whatever you want to call it) has been going on for a lot longer than many people think.
A conversion is incomplete if it does not leave one with an intense social consciousness, if it does not fill one with a sense of overwhelming responsibility for the world. It has been said... truly that the Church exists for those outside of itself. The Church must never be in any sense a little huddle of pious people, shutting their doors against the world, lost in prayer and praise, connoisseurs of preaching and liturgy, busy mutually congratulating themselves on the excellence of their Christian experience.

...William Barclay, In the Hands of God [1967]

This is true. And it's hard to get across. "Church" is not the point. But it should be the means of conversion... of helping people into, and carrying out, this reality.