Living System Ministry

Living System Ministry is a discipline of Christian practice that recognizes the differences between the living systems that God makes and the constructs that people make, offering insights and practical tools to help us align with and effectively engage living social systems.

People make toasters. Only God makes cats. And, clearly, we can’t fix a sick cat with the tools we may use to fix our broken toaster. So why do those of us who are in Christian ministry try to fix our churches with tools designed for accomplishing simple tasks, which don't take into account what is truly living, the rich complexity of our people-based, Spirit-filled churches?

The Bible describes the church as a body, an organism. Yet, in our Western culture, we have grown accustomed to thinking of churches in terms of organizations or buildings because our culture is very organizationally and technologically centered.

Change is not dependent on what we do, but on what God does. Therefore, we are going to have to learn to think more about working with God’s living systems than about trying to fix problems. When our ministry is better aligned with what God is already doing in our complex living system environment, there is an explosion of life!

Soong-Chan’s Story of Impact

Soong-Chan Rah is a prophetic leader who challenges the American church to free itself from Western cultural captivity and become the church Jesus intended. Prof. Rah’s thinking developed during his years as founding pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church (CCFC) and as a student at Gordon-Conwell’s Boston campus.

During his Master’s and Doctor of Ministry work, Prof. Rah learned about the implications of Boston’s Quiet Revival and the concepts and principles of Living System Ministry. Prof. Rah’s writings are grounded in his Boston experience, and he takes a strongly systemic view in calling the church to move wholeheartedly into its multiethnic, multicultural future.

Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah
Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism,
North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago