During our Spiritual Life & Mission Conference at SAIACS, we are coming together to examine a spectrum of ministry spheres, celebrate distinctions, share experiences, and discuss challenges that we as the Church in India are facing. A central question is what should be our priorities as disciples of Jesus and as God’s people ‘called-out’ for the sake of Christ’s kingdom?
Trends in the Indian Church’s growth reveal a variety of patterns in which Christian faith communities are developing with differences, yet each having its own value. However, there is an ardent desire and sincere efforts are being made to move from mere institutional forms to be a relevant mission-shaped church in a multicultural, pluralistic, and global context. With a shift from maintenance to missions, the traditional, hierarchical structures are confronted by new laypeople movements characterized by spontaneous worship forms.
In short, the church is not just purpose-driven but also Presence-shaped in its witness. To complicate maters, the urban church seems to be going high-tech, often at the cost of becoming low-touch. In our consumerist society, cultural sensitivity is yielding to pragmatic, globalized ways of simply being Christians in the marketplace. Such reorganization calls us to radically rethink the relevance of our present modes of worship and the effectiveness of our outreach.
What would you say is the shape of the church-in-mission today? Is bigger, better? Will intimacy with God lead naturally to our involvement in His world? What about Christians in politics? Have we taken seriously the need to partner and network in our outreach? Will all our innovations give greater efficiency, impact, and scope? Will the future Church make us an attractive counter-culture, so much so our fellow Indians will want to become followers of Christ?