A Short & Helpful Ecclesiology

Recent conversations with Christian leaders (from various denominations) highlights a desire for a way of articulating the nature and purpose of the church, with a greater emphasis of the broader context of the Kingdom and mission.

I’ve found many arehelped by the following words from the third paragraph of the Uniting Church Basis of Union, which reads:

The Church as the fellowship of the Holy Spirit confesses Jesus as Lord over its own life; it also confesses that Jesus is Head over all things, the beginning of a new creation, of a new humanity. God in Christ has given to all people in the Church the Holy Spirit as a pledge and foretaste of that coming reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation. The Church’s call is to serve that end: to be a fellowship of reconciliation, a body within which the diverse gifts of its members are used for the building up of the whole, an instrument through which Christ may work and bear witness to himself. The Church lives between the time of Christ’s death and resurrection and the final consummation of all things which Christ will bring; the Church is a pilgrim people, always on the way towards a promised goal; here the Church does not have a continuing city but seeks one to come. On the way Christ feeds the Church with Word and Sacraments, and it has the gift of the Spirit in order that it may not lose the way.

I actually believe the Basis of Union could be a helpful guiding document for many churches. It’s writing was deeply influenced by the missional and ecumenical movement. More of that anon.

You can read the full document here.