Church + Discipleship = Hope
by Al Tizon
What gives me hope when I consider the church? Churches that love God in creative worship; churches that acknowledge people's brokenness; churches that are as committed to grace as they are to truth; churches that have rediscovered their identity in, and are reenergized by, God's mission; churches that engage in holistic ministry—evangelism, compassion/justice, and reconciliation; churches that celebrate racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity; churches that strive to practice God's unconditional love in a polarized world.
What I'm describing are churches whose people strive to be disciples of Jesus Christ in a lost and broken world. What gives me hope is not necessarily newfangled, hip forms of church, but churches that desire to embody Christ in genuine discipleship, no matter what form that takes.
Former co-president of Evangelicals for Social Action, Al Tizon serves as executive minister of Serve Globally, the international ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), and associate professor of Missional and Global Leadership at North Park Theological Seminary. Tizon is also the author of the award-winning Missional Preaching: Engage, Embrace, Transform (Judson Press, 2012).