Participating in the Life of the World
As the people of God, the church cannot grow, nor can it be meaningful if removed from the world of everyday life. It must take its place in the world if it is to understand and engage the culture to which it is speaking and within which it is embedded. It must never be extracted from the hustle and bustle of real life. Otherwise, it will end up having a ghetto-like existence that is devoid of meaning and impact on the world that it indwells. Thus, the church must actively participate in the life of the world. It must be in the world and meaningful to the world, but not of the world. It must live with this tension if it is to be what it is intended to be. It must be a community that bears witness to the reality of the kingdom of God. The church, as a community, will and must look different in the different cultures and subcultures it enters and engages. If it looks the same in the culture or subculture in which it takes root, something is seriously wrong. The context in which the church comes to life and the existence will play shapes its thinking and imprints its actions and shape of the church. Yet every aspect of the church’s life must come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It must become congruent with the nature of the kingdom of God.