Tag Archives: St. Paul

The Kainos Movement

kainosIn December 2014 Bryan Lottis launched the Kainos Movement in order to build multiethnic unity in the Body of Christ and to provide equipping and training that will inspire multi-ethnic movements among the people of God in organizations and churches. The movement has been getting a lot of traction ever since. Why is the movement so important?

Because, unfortunately, according to researchers, only about 14% of churches in America are multiethnic.

How is this determined? By what is called the 80/20 rule. A church is defined as multiethnic only if only one ethnicity makes up more than 80 percent of the whole. For instance, if a church has a hundred members and 85 are African American that is called a homogeneous church, but if a church has a hundred members and 80 are Caucasian and the rest are other ethnicities, it qualifies as a multiethnic church.

About 10 years ago, 98 percent of churches were identified as homogeneous [classified as one ethnic group making up more than 80 percent of the congregation]. In a recent Lifeway Research poll, it’s now moved down to 86 percent. So through the help of the Kainos Movement, things are moving in the right direction.

The goal of the Kainos Movement is that 50% or more of all churches be multiethnic by the year 2050—the year that sociologists project the United States will become majority minority for the first time in her history.

The word kainos is Greek for new and a word used by St. Paul to describe the coming together of Jews and Gentiles to form the multiethnic church.

The Kainos Movement mission statement says, “Our nation is trending towards diversity. The church has no option but to maintain the same trajectory, not so much forward, but backward to her first century roots where the normal was ethnic diversity. A failure to do so will put us perilously close to being irrelevant to the changing face of our society.”

Let us continue in the model of St. Paul and the Kainos Movement in ways that we can to incorporate more cultures and ethnicities into our congregations. Just as our neighborhoods and communities are becoming more multiethnic, our churches should too.

It is a perfect time, on this tipping point in cultural history, to reach out to someone with a different ethnicity than our own and say, “Come to church with me!”

Organization and Organism

The conventional wisdom these days in our society is to say that the institutional church is old hat, out of date and doesn’t matter any more in these “modern times.”

That’s why I am happy there are people like Kevin deYoung, who sets the record straight for us in his insightful book co-written by Ted Kluck, Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion:

going to churchThe church, as the elect people of God, is both organism and organization. The church is a breathing, growing, maturing, living thing. It is also comprised of a certain order (1 Cor. 14:40), with institutional norms (5:1-13), doctrinal standards (15:1-2), and defined rituals (11:23-26). The two aspects of the church—organism and organization—must not be played off against each other, for both are grounded in the operations of the glorified head of the church through the Holy Spirit. Offices and gifts, governance and the people, organization and organism—all these belong together. They are all blessings from the work of Christ. (p. 170).

The structure, order and governance of the institutional church is important to the development of the faith and in helping the faithful to serve in specific ways that are in line with their God-given gifts and abilities. The church as an institution defines us and reminds us of who we are and whose we are through regular worship, the recitation of the Creed, the gathering for baptisms and the providing of our Savior’s body and blood in the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper.

So much in our world today is defined by what is fun, what makes us feel good, what is exciting and new. But that is not what the Church is designed to provide. The Church is meant to show us our sins, to remind us our need for repentance and our forgiveness in Christ, things our world is not all that willing to face. So it is no surprise that there is resistance to the concept of organized church. But the ultimate goal is far beyond the immediate desire for instant gratification. The ultimate goal of the Church is to show us our salvation—life eternal with Christ forevermore. I can think of no other thing that is more fun, makes me feel as good or is more exciting and new than that.

So with this in mind, let us follow the advice of St. Paul who said this, long before our “modern” era:  “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near ” (Hebrews 10:23-25).