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"Were we to focus on Paul's foundational calling, I believe we would find greater longevity and ever increasing flexibility in our programs and approaches. 'Reflecting God' becomes a lifestyle and an awareness rather than a program. Programs and creative ideas will certainly grow out of such awareness, but if the calling is kept in focus the danger of becoming sidetracked, institutionalized and irrelevant (such a bad word in church growth circles) is greatly reduced, or even contradictory. The practice of reflecting God to others and to society and the world will never become old or irrelevant because it responds to genuine human situations, not temporary fads. Just as eating or providing food will never become irrelevant, so reflecting God will not either. Creating light is God's work; reflecting that light is our work.20 The church is called to reflect God. No more. No less."


Originally published as Chapter 3 of The Call to Authenticity, A Handbook of Hope for the Church (Lexington, KY: Emeth Press, 2009).