As part of the St Paul's State of the Nation: The Future of St Paul's address, held in the Crypt on 31 May 2011, Mike Norris shared his invigorating dream for the St Paul's church. Read on and get thee on board!
"I long to see a church that is Jesus-focused and Jesus-flavoured.
I long to see a church that reflects His heartbeat.
I long to see a church that speaks confidently of his heart, life and has a destiny-transforming message.
I long to see a church that refuses to be a holy huddle or Christian country club.
I long to see a church that rises above its sin, brokenness and self-centeredness for the sake of Jesus and all those He longs to reach.
I long to see a church where hundreds of thousands of unbelievers respond to Jesus and have their lives restored by Him.
I long to see a church that embraces all people: the rich, the poor, the prosperous, the marginalised, the young, the old, babies and teenagers, the married, the single, the divorced, the remarried, the employed, the unemployed, the Pakeha, the Maori, the Asian, the sober, the addicted, the housed, the homeless, the articulate and the uneducated.
I long to see a church where Christians and unbelievers feel welcome and care for one another rather than slap labels on each other.
I long to see a church that is gracious and encouraging not judgmental, fussy, respectable or religious.
I long to see a church that can hold the grace of Jesus together with His truth; His Word together with His Spirit.
I long to see a church that is kind and gentle and forgiving when mistakes are made.
I long to see a church where the Spirit is manifest with an intensity and power the likes of which have never been witnessed before in the whole of human history!
I long to see God heal all people, deliver all people, free all people from everything that shackles, hampers or binds them.
I long to see a church who violently resists the life-strangling consumerist values of our culture.
I long to see a church who goes for it and gets things done rather than just talking about going for it and getting things done.
I long to see a church that is humble, not up itself; loving and not a slick brand machine.
I long to see a church that is fun, unpredictable and free.
I long to see a church that regularly causes havoc and gets into masses of trouble like Jesus.
I long to see a church that regularly finds itself on the wrong side of the line.
I long to see a church that courageously rids itself of all ways and methods of doing things that are ineffective (even those ineffective things that are held dear).
I long to see a church that utterly refuses to settle for the safe, sleepy and comfortable routine.
I long to see a church with a big heart that takes big risks.
I long to see a church that engages the city and is a genuine blessing to every person in every sector. The politicians, the lawyers, the plumbers, the sex workers, the cleaners, the designers, the downtrodden, the good-looking, the antisocial, the police, the trendy and the violent.
That's what I long to see."
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