This article by John Flowers and Karen Vannoy is poorly built upon an allusion to adaptations that Darwin observed. Those adaptations were related to how finches would acquire food, not how they would express themselves in the world, what they would ‘do’ or how others would know them as distinct. A similar argument could be made by observing how plants and animals adjust after a natural or man made disaster. These kinds of adaptations are necessary, but I disagree that they point us toward the kind of specific and unique mission statements identified in the article, at least not in the way these authors suggest. Those unique mission statements are expressions of inner distinctiveness less than adaptation to different environments. And this is the kind of expression that leads to life. It will not be ‘adaptation to our environment’ but a clear understanding of who we are on the inside which then gets expressed outwardly.
After all, finches and Christians reproduce by design. as each species reproduces, the more mature in the group teach the younger ones how to adapt to the environment, but this adaptation does not lead to new finches. Of course, the failure to adapt will make the conversation about new finches, or new Christians, mute. So, yes, adaptation is necessary, I just think it is a poor explanation for the very essential work of developing and expressing a unique Christian identity as individuals, households, congregations and denominations.