Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Should Methodologies Change?

"Methodologies change, but theology shouldn't." Statements such as this have been repeated so often that we assume their truthfulness. But what if we're wrong? What if Scripture not only gives us timeless doctrine, but also timeless methods for accomplishing God's work?

It's obvious that some methodologies are new, especially those born out of technologies developed since the 1st century A.D. The printing press, the Internet, telephones, radios, and televisions are examples of obvious tools that the church can use to promote the gospel.

However, I am becoming increasingly convinced that the methodologies given to the 1st-century church by Jesus and exemplified by the apostles are keys to making disciples.

For example, in Luke 10 Jesus sent his disciples into villages to share the gospel with a man of peace--that is, a man receptive to the gospel. If he received the gospel, his entire household would be likely to follow. Later, in Acts 2 (and beyond) the disciples continued this methodology of taking the gospel to receptive households. Even a cursory study of the word "house" or "household" in the Book of Acts shows us how effectively the gospel spread as the disciples put into practice what they learned from their experiences in Luke 10. The rest of the New Testament makes it clear that churches typically met in people's homes.

It is my belief that not only should we follow the doctrine given to us by Jesus, but also the methods. The better a modern church is able to follow the methods of Jesus, the more effective that church will be at making disciples.

Why are methodologies like "the household method" important? Why don't they become outdated? Not because they are tied to a technology that may later become obsolete, but because they are embedded into something timeless: the image of God in man.

I'll have more to say about this in the days and weeks ahead.

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