Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Missional is hard, but we can't go back, we won't!

A little setup if I may... We are a missional community that is about five years in the making. When we first began everyone was involved in everything. We were all in the neighborhood and experiencing the new life that is missionary life. It was fun, rewarding and tiring. Then we opened it up and invited new friends to come experience missionary life with us. As they came we began to need to organize and so we brought on some staff (not the staff that you would find at a church but daytime missionaries and people who coordinate our activities). Also, with the advent of new people we began to add new ministry. We 'adopted' apartment complexes and began to focus on those families as our primary mission field. We organized ways to get into relationship with our new neighbors and friends. Our new friends began to be part of our 'community' and we began to numerically grow. You could most visibly see this at our Gathering on Sunday evening where we invited friends and missionaries alike to come and sing and hear teaching that would further 'stir them up to love and good works'.

As we went along the staff began to give reports about the great things God was doing in our midst. We began to get people from neighboring churches and organizations who came and shared the fun caught the vision and went back strengthened and encouraged, many starting their own missional outlets in their denominations and churches. We inspired a couple of groups from other cities to venture out and begin missional life. Several of them are bearing much fruit.

And the neighborhood began changing. People professed faith in Jesus, families restored, addicts set free, jobs found, children went from failing to passing and all the things you would expect God to do as His people are about His mission. But then we began a drift, it's gentle and not overwhelming but we can all feel it. We are beginning to drift back into what we came from... and we don't like it.

We came from environments where the staff and a few members do all the ministry and the rest of us show up to the meetings with our Bible and our checkbooks. We don't want to go back to that.

We came from an environment where missions was something you did once or twice a year and usually in someone else's city or someone else's country. We don't want to go back to that.

We don't want to have to wait on the newsletter to find out what's going on. We want to write the newsletter with our lives.

We don't want God's mission to belong to a special few, the chosen, paid, educated staff. We wanna play too. It's our calling. Jesus told us to go too.

Listen, its hard work and way different from just 'being a faithful church member' to live a missionary lifestyle. You have to stay engaged with your community. You can't expect someone else to do your ministry. You are responsible. People need you. And yes we drift, we get comfortable, we take our eyes of the mission field and sometimes we just want to go to the meeting with our Bible and checkbook and let somebody else do the work.

But we're not going back to that. We're missionaries.


1 - read/write comments:

Bubba McQueen said...

Well said BC...we can't go back.

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