Achieving Irrelevance

closed_churchThe Progressive Christian Alliance was founded in early 2008 in response to many of the controversies raging in traditional churches.

We observed the passions of those arguing both for and against full inclusion of LGBT persons and lamented that such arguments were necessary.

We watched as churches spent endless hours debating worship styles and respect for other faiths and observed how those trivialities hindered the actual work that Christ calls us to perform.

We saw many churches whose actions gave testimony to their belief that Sunday morning worship is the truest expression of a body of faith.

We observed those who felt called to serve the church as they sacrificed family, time and fortune as they were required to prove their worthiness to answer God’s call.

In response to those observations, a few of us began to share the visions that we had been given for a church organization that would present a different response to those issues listed above.

Hard-coded into our organizational DNA, then, is an inclusion and welcome to all of God’s children to participate equally in the life of the church and take their rightful place at the table of grace, regardless of race, social status, sexual orientation or  ideology.

Coded into our genetic makeup also is a deep and abiding respect for theological diversity, in the hopes that communities can be encouraged to pursue an authentic expression of faith, freed from the bonds of enforced orthodoxy or dictated dogma.

A further trait of the PCA is a recognition that the calling of God upon a person’s life is both sacred and profound. It is therefore our responsibility to say “amen” and affirm that call, wherever possible.

As these characteristics are at the core of our identity, we can then focus our time and energy on actually doing the work that Jesus called us to, rather than endlessly debating various points of theology, liturgy or ecclesiology.

In can rightly be said that we have flouted conventional wisdom in many ways, and indeed we find strength rather than weakness in the diversity of our membership and ministries.

We also have sought to maintain a very organic outlook as regarding the fellowship in general and our goals in particular.   Yet we are sometimes asked just what our goals are.

With our particular ethos of letting the Spirit move in and through us where she will, we are quite often reluctant to set short term goals.   Rather, we have learned to be very intentional about not making such plans, so that we may remain always open to the guidance of the Spirit and the opportunities she presents.

That being said, we do have one goal in particular that neatly ties into both our beginnings and our foundational principles:

The Progressive Christian Alliance is working to achieve a future in which we, as an organization, are irrelevant.

We hope to be a bridge between what is and what will be.

When all persons are welcome in their local communities of faith;

When ministers and communities are encouraged to discover and pursue an authentic expression of faith, free from shackles of dogma or doctrine;

When the church universal is truly an agent of God’s grace, and works to proclaim freedom for the prisoners,  and recovery of sight for the blind,  releases the oppressed, and proclaims for all to hear, the time of the Lord’s favor;

When systems of oppression fall in favor of systems of liberation;

When justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream;

When the church’s implicit approval of war, poverty, hatred, intolerance and inequality are consigned to the dustbin of history:

Then we shall likewise consign ourselves to history.

Until that time, may God who has called us to this mission give us the strength and grace to perform it.

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  1. I can relate to this desire for irrelevancy. My “para-church” ministry is to serve individuals and communities in growing a deeper and more intimate relationship with God and one another. There should not be such a need provided from outside the community. So I too look forward to a day when DeepLight Ministries will be irrelevant.

  2. If you want irrelevance, I think you’ve achieved it.

    Took me nearly 2 years to think of this reply.

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