Tom Bassford is the founder and President of Significant Matters and the creator of SATtalks. The bigger plan behind SATtalks and Missions 3.0 is to use the stories and the overall conversation it creates to ignite a movement in churches to change the face of missions.
In his book, “Christianity and Progress,” Harry Emmerson Fosdick wrote, The Church is primarily an instrument in God’s hands to bring personal and social righteousness upon the earth. When her massed influence overcomes a public evil or establishes a public good, men find the justification of her existence and a first-rate weapon of apologetic argument in her behalf.
For those of us who work in or with the church it begs the question, “What does it mean to be the church in a world that is changing faster than most of us can even imagine?” The church is no longer relevant simply because it says it is or because the wider culture insists that it must be. Evidence to the contrary can be seen all around us.
But, what if her massed influence were able to overcome a public evil or establish a public good? Might those kinds of accomplishments cause people in general and the culture at large to pause and find the justification of her existence? Might those kinds of demonstrations be a first-rate weapon of apologetic argument in her behalf?
For many of us the answer to both questions is “yes” and because we believe that what Fosdick wrote nearly 100 years ago is as true today as it was then. The greatest accelerator for this kind of change is the mass influence of a “tribe” working together in disciplined, dignified and accountable ways.