Home Outreach Leaders A Novel Approach to Tackling Common Temptations in the Western Church

A Novel Approach to Tackling Common Temptations in the Western Church

  1. Partisanism: “We love our country.”

Kingdom Corrective: While national patriotism and political perspectives are normal and necessary for healthy and functioning democracies, our highest and exclusive allegiance is to the eternal kingdom of heaven—not a temporal nation, nationality, ethnicity, or political ideology. Therefore, we voluntarily lower all secondary loyalties so that our earthly perspectives might not become a stumbling block to the life and death mission of Jesus’ church.

  1. Paternalism: “We train pastors around the world.”

Kingdom Corrective: We have a leadership that maintains a humble learning posture, holding to a sincere belief that Jesus’ church is expressed in a globally diverse mosaic that includes every nation, tribe, people, and language. Therefore, we engage global diversity with a gospel-centered posture that eradicates any hubris of geographical or cultural superiority by seeking to both learn and assist in ways that honor and edify the body of Christ wherever it is found.”

Once You See: Seven Temptations of the Western Church – A Novel

What responses do you hope will emerge from leaders who read your book?

None of us get all of this right. The extrabiblical patterns that we have inherited are deeply embedded into thinking and emotions. So, my first hope would be an openness to “unlearning” many of the designs that we have known. This takes courage.

Second, all of us need “new minds” on these subjects. This is where repentance, or metanoia, becomes central. My hope is that by becoming emotionally involved in someone else’s story, we can more objectively see our own story—and then gain a new mind on many spiritually unhealthy ideas we’ve adopted. 

Finally, we are in a place to “relearn” new ways—which in this case are very old ways. But true relearning only happens after repentance.

Are readers left on their own to do all this heavy lifting?

No, not at all. The book contains a discussion guide that guides toward peer mentoring. My hope is that pastors, leaders, and small group members might navigate the process of unlearning, repentance, and relearning together in a mutually authentic and supportive context. 

But deeper than that, most of us need time and trusted relationships to process spiritual, emotional, and organizational changes that may be required. Because of that, Rich Robinson and Lance Ford of the Movement Leader’s Collective are assembling online coaching cohorts to help leaders process the things that have surfaced from this book. Leaders can connect with Mercedes@movementleaderscollective.com for information on this process.

Any last thoughts Jeff?

In many ways, this book is a culmination of a lifetime of missiological learning, observation, and practice. My prayer is that it might be used for God’s glory as he reveals his kingdom through churches solely devoted to Jesus’ mission.

You can purchase “Once You See: Seven Temptations of the Western Church – a Novel” here.