This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
Solid theological reflection is crucial in the practice of ministry, understood both narrowly as the work of ordained leaders and in the wider sense of being the whole life and mission of the people of God. Actually, today the chief rival to ministering from a theological base is engaging in the practice of "church" by means of a pragmatic outlook, that makes decisions largely if not solely on the basis of a consideration of what "works." In the long run, however, the pragmatic approach is self-defeating, simply because it transforms the community of faith into an institution whose chief end is not the glory of God and the fulfillment of a divinely-given mandate, but survival. The long-term health and viability of the church demands that its leaders and people return again and again to the forming and informing vision of what the community of Christ is called, mandated, and empowered to be by the Lord of the church. Above all, I would add, we are called to be a people who embody in our life together and in our relationships to all humans and even to all creation the great narrative of the biblical God, the one who has come to us in Christ and now empowers us through the Holy Spirit poured out in our hearts and in our fellowship.