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While the contemporary church is in exile, practical theology is essential for ministers to emphasize the role of correct practice. The latter is integrated into the term of orthopraxy, the primary concern of which is appropriate behavior, and some common beliefs are also presented. This paper will discuss church leadership in exile, focusing on theological imagination, creative missional growth, and doubt aspects. It is expected that this exploration will contribute to better understanding of how ministers should act with regard to the 21st century church.
Where Do You See Yourself in the Process of Change?
The theological imagination is an integral part of the 21st century church in exile. The concept of orthodoxy that refers to the conformation with the Christian creeds, truths, and images is beneficial in understanding a Sunday School Teacher’s expected position in the context of change (Beach, 2015). The biblical narratives are representative of how prophets and apostles responded to challenges encountered by the church and congregation in exile.
Isaiah, the prophet with the Jewish background, develops and deepens the basic idea of the prophet Amos about the primacy of morality over the cult. In His turn, the God claims: “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:13, NIV). A faith-sustaining action and the imagination of a better future were also proposed by Nehemiah, who led the rebuilding of Jerusalem walls.
Accordingly, the church ministers may appeal to people with the idea of recovering from sins and improper behavior. It should be noted that the future of the people depends on their ability to put into practice the ideals of justice as morality is more pleasing to God than mere formal worship. The church should design and offer a new vision of Christianity that would be pertinent to the modern reality (Watt, 2014). People should be invited what God can do for them and that all creation is in Jesus Christ.
How Do You View Your Future Role in the Church?
The paramount role of a Sunday School Teacher ministry is to target the creative missional growth. In the context where the church is in exile, it is critical to imagine innovative forms and practices that cannot be employed. The Western world and the church identity are to be approximated in order to come up with the required missional actions. As Paul said, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing … in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God” (Corinthians 2:15-2:17, NIV). In this connection, the views of teachers regarding the future should be related to serving people as those who disseminate the word of God with a new vision.
The church needs to take the role of a transformational mediator. According to Pillay (2017), the community change is of the mission of the ministry, which is discussed by the author on the example of South African apartheid church and its revival. The ministers are expected to focus on the development of their leadership (Elkington, Meekins, Breen, & Martin, 2015). The Christian worldview is to be enhanced in the process of mentorship and missionary opportunities.
Point of View Based Upon Assessment of This Week’s Topics?
The key conclusion of this week is associated with doubt issues. First of all, doubt is inherent in people, and it is especially critical to those who live near the edge. Second, it is important to make sure that there is a place where people with common beliefs and practices may meet and spend time together in order to strengthen their shared commitments (Beach, 2015). The church is to become the place where people can be understood by sharing their concerns and receiving acceptance and assistance. Third, people should be given the hope of future glory, emphasizing that their faith would be justified.
This recommendation implies that exile is temporary, while faith represents the statement that this life is not all there. In combination, these three issues explain how people live through doubts and how ministers may help them.
While many local churches are closing due to the cultural changes, there is a framework for working through the existing challenges and addressing them. Beach (2015) provides feasible and pertinent motifs and models that can be used by the modern church to assess current and future needs in exile. Even though this framework is not an absolute guarantee, it offers valuable tools to live in the given conditions appropriately and recuperate in the future based on leadership and orthopraxy. Thus, it is significant that the church as the Lord’s ministry will survive.
To conclude, this essay explored the way the church may respond to the life in exile in the 21st century. It is important to adopt the theological imagination and apply lessons from the biblical narratives. The ministers need to consider the creative missional growth by focusing on leadership development and orthopraxy as common practice. The doubts issues faced by people clarified the way the church should speak with about exile. The framework offered by Beach was identified as one of the options to evaluate existing needs and plan the future actions.
Beach, L. (2015). The church in exile: Living in hope after Christendom. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
The Bible, New International version (NIV). (n.d.). Web.
Elkington, R., Meekins, D., Breen, J. M., & Martin, S. S. (2015). Leadership as an enabling function: Towards a new paradigm for local church leadership in the 21st century. In Skriflig, 49(3), 1-14.
Pillay, J. (2017). The church as a transformation and change agent. HTS Theological Studies, 73(3), 1-12.
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Watt, W. M. (2014). Relational principles for effective church leadership. Journal of Leadership Education, 13(2), 125-139.