Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Reaffirming and Revising our Vision

Web Feb. 24, 2016 · by Fran Blomberg

Happy sweet sixteen Scum of the Earth Church! SOTEC formed in February 2000, and originally we said we were a church for the "right-brained and left out." But sixteen years on, the vision was due for refinement--who is Scum now? Let me walk you through the vision statement adopted in January 2016, which Mike first outlined on a napkin years ago:

Scum Vision Statement: Scum of the Earth Church is an outpost on the perimeter of God's kingdom, finding redemption in Jesus Christ

The big circle represents the Kingdom of God; Scum is the little circle, and outside the circle, the grey, is the world.

“Scum of the Earth Church”—People ask, are you really a church or a parachurch mission to a particular demographic? Asserting we are a church implies we are ready to receive all people, not just targeting one age group or cultural group. However…
We are an “outpost on the perimeter of the kingdom.” We're intentionally on the edge of society to be close to those who are the outcasts. An “outpost” implies watchfulness to protect those within. It recognizes dangers are near. It anticipates receiving folks from the outside who are in bad shape. Inside the safety of the outpost, people are restored to health.

Scum has often seen itself as “the first step in or the last step out” for people, meaning those with no faith might give Christianity a try in our community, and others who are burned out on religion might give church one last try in our untraditional setting. On the perimeter, we can give attention to both.

We drew a dotted line because we see the church in mission existing “on the border where faith meets unfaith.” We want to hold the door open for people to enter the kingdom. We go boldly into the world seeking the lost, but we are not of the world.

And, it’s all about redemption in Jesus. We are fully orthodox and evangelical in our teaching. It’s not the ‘coolness’ of the community that transforms, it’s the saving power of Jesus. Jesus’ work is complete and we can be sure of our salvation, of being in the kingdom. But we continue “finding redemption” daily as we see God at work. We are not discouraged by the time it takes people to change, even after a commitment to Christ. God is patient with us.

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