God in His grace has given us a very robust community. We not only enjoy vibrant worship together, we are also engaged in numerous forms of parish life together, and then, on top of that, ministry outreach together. In recent years, the number of ministry opportunities for members of our church have exploded—from ISF to Thrive, to Parish Discipleship Groups, to the Center for Biblical Counseling, to Music Camp, and so on.
So this exhortation comes in the form of a caution. As we reach out, and as we minister to non-Christians, and as we labor alongside fellow Christians from other traditions, the chances are good that we will start experiencing pressure, sometimes spoken sometimes not, to dilute our Reformed distinctives. What Christ Church is doing is wonderful. Can we do anything to make it less Christ Churchy?
For over two centuries, evangelicals in North America have been presented with a false alternative. We think that a “thick” appreciation of denominational distinctives necessarily means sectarianism, telling the outside world to take a hike, and we also think the only alternative to this is to “thin” those distinctives out for the sake of broader unity. This has resulted in an anemic form of the faith, a lowest common denominator approach, a seeker-sensitive take on the world. But there is a third approach—a thick embrace of all that God has given us, but not so that we might keep it to ourselves. Our mission statement is all of Christ for all of life. This does not just apply to our time of worship. Of necessity it also extends to everything we do, and that would include all our outreach ministries.
So get involved. Stay involved. Embrace the tasks. Lean in. But as we pursue all these ministry opportunities, we should take care “to dance with the one what brung us.”