EMPOWERMENT CHURCH by Carlyle Fielding Stewart III
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The purpose of the church is simple: the church exists to bring people to salvation in Christ, and to postively and permanently change lives for the good of the community. The way the church fulfills this basic calling is through empowerment; endowing people with the capacity to be recipents and catalysts of positive social and personal change. Too many churches in North American have neglected this basic calling, argues the author. If they are to become thriving centers of personal and social transformation, then they must move beyond the dichotomy of ministry into either saving souls or transforming society. Rather, they must work to empower the whole person, by ministries that work at the same time for spiritual, relational, and communal transformation. Only when they thus empower individuals to be disciples of Jesus Christ in ways that then transform those individuals personal relations and the communities in which they live will the church have fulfilled its basic calling.