The life of the church is experienced in three environments: the table, pulpit, and square. How we utilize these three environments help us answer the question: What does a church do? Until we see how the local church can be faithful to the Lord in these three environments, we will struggle to fulfill Christ’s call. The more organized and focused a church is in these three environments, the more fruitful, steady and healthy it becomes.
These short text reflects what the heart of the church should be. I feel very fortunate that the church I attend reflects all three environments and how all three environments are not separate but easily feed off each other. One is not better than the other but the church leadership understands the importance of each one for the health of the church and the body.
The table reflects relationships within small groups and what this should look like. The table is doing life without trying to do life. It takes a commitment from all parties and really the starting point of a healthy church.
The pulpit is the liturgy and the teaching. How liturgy engages the body in scripture, confession, the sacraments and the good news of the Gospel. Words and deeds are from the same coin and it is from the pulpit that our motivation and reason grip our hearts.
The Square represents the community the church is placed in. Our square can be different depending the culture of the community and the church must be diligent in seeking the needs of their community. Whether it be for back to school, single moms, or the food pantry for the needy, we have many opportunities to meet the needs without selling the gospel. I loved this point because it can seem to some (and I am sure I am guilty of this) that we are selling something. Christians need to be set apart from doing good without expecting anything back. And to do good to those that don’t deserve it. That is how we are more like Christ. Just as we did not deserve his mercy and grace, when we offer the same mercy and grace, we experience Christ and the community experiences the church.
I highly recommend this book and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
A Special Thank You to Moody Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.