“We need to hear the story, with Christ as the lead character. We need to have our character killed off again in this scene, raised with a new identity in Christ. It’s a lot easier to talk about ourselves and our journeys than it is to talk about God’s journey from creation to exodus, conquest, and consummation through biblical exposition. Yet talking about ourselves doesn’t really lead to community, at least not to the kind of community that finds its story in the biblical plot. We come together with our own stories about being a white guy from Iowa who wrestles with his sexuality, a black woman from Atlanta who lost her house in the market crash, a lonely Puerto Rican immigrant, a teenager struggling with his faith, an elderly woman who just lost her husband to cancer, a normal couple facing normal challenges of marriage and raising a family, or a CEO or a janitor who was just laid off. All of these stories contribute to the diversity that enriches and is enriched by the whole body. Yet when we gather to hear the ‘Christ story,’ we become one family. It’s ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5). In other words, it’s the Great Commission: the gift that keeps on giving, not just on the foreign mission field but also here at home every week.
Stop the recital of this grand narrative and the only sound we’ll hear is the cacophony of chatter of a culture that loves to talk to itself about itself. We’re overwhelmed every day by a rushing torrent of propaganda from advertising, politics, entertainment, and pop psychology. We are being baptized and catechized every day into the wisdom and ephemera of this passing age, which makes faithful Christian ministry all the more essential. We are not just pooling our ignorance or sharing our experiences. We are being given new truths and experiences that we never anticipated” (Michael Horton, The Gospel Commission: Recovering God’s Strategy for Making Disciples, 274-275).