what is faith and works?

Query>> Questions I have to ask myself and other people – what do we bring to
the table? is it the work of the Holy Spirit in personal study – thus we bring ourselves + a little Holy Spirit action? or do we just come as we are and then meet the Holy Spirit with nothing? Where does “works/effort” get us?

i.e. someone had said – the results you get are the direct result of how effectively your systems designed them to be.. Then is our system the issue? Where do we incorporate faith into our systems – where in a very structured society we go for a 6 sigma, a flawless, ISO “big number” quality standard?

Interested to hear your thoughts on leadership, where you find good sources of refreshing thoughts, popular agreed/disagreed thoughts

djchuang>> This is a big question, that of faith and works. Having been discipled in largely conservative evangelical contexts since college, and educated in that similar system in seminary, and trying for years to get with the program, the bias I picked up (and infused myself) was all faith and no works, prayer is all that matters, “let go and let God” was the mantra. You had to be careful that you’re doing something in the “spirit” and not the “flesh.” (whatever that means). Don’t let the worldly business practices contaminate the sacred ministry of the church. You know the drill. It bordered on guessing one another’s motives and devotional life, comparing piety, or something I don’t know what to call it.

At this point in time, how I put it all together is that God created this integrated world. Business practices are part and parcel of how the physical and organizational world works, it’s part of general revelation. Follow good principles and systems, you get corresponding results that confirm the quality of your strategic planning and assumptions.

In the work of Christian ministry as an organization, one of the working assumptions is to factor in the role of God and faith and spiritual disciplines. That would be the difference of a faith-based systems thinking organization, vs. an organization without faith.

In applying faith to a system, there is not as easy an one-to-one correspondence of how much we do in faith and what results we can expect. For example, we can’t systemically develop a ministry plan to evangelize all of [insert locality here], recruit 1000 prayer warriors for 24/7 prayer coverage for a month, and expect 1,000 conversions to “just happen” because God is supposed to respond to our diligence in prayer.

It bothers me that some people put up a dichotomy of church being an organism vs. organization; it’s BOTH. It’s both organism and organization, it’s both faith and works. And this both/and is one of my attractions to the postmodern ethos.

My sources for inspiration: reading blogs, and trading readings lists with Gid.

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  1. Switch says:

    humm… interesting post about the famous dicotomy. I serve w/ a christian organization when the leadership don’t seem to get it. I belive in the faith aspect of our service – but there need to be the “work” as you call it aspect of it. The organization is lead by missionaryu who loves batman and know much about business as you would know about my neurotic aunt. The organization legally need to be run as a business – with permissions, legal files, taxes report. Which is done by the secretary -(thank God for her)Most missionaries and ministers are trained for “spiritual” (here a dicotomy again) issues – but not to run and organization in a effective and excellent way. So yes – our prayers are a must – we need them. But those in charge of the organization need to work on learning and “gettin it” on how to be a better organism. holy smokes batman – i wrote too much.

  2. meg says:

    Off the subject of your post. First time visitor (I think) and very interesting place you have here. We’ll be back.