Monday, April 30, 2012

Missional? Social Justice? I’m Confused. (Part 1)

Mercy, justice, missional, incarnational,renewal, the social gospel…
These seem to be the buzzwords at this moment in time…
At the intersection of faith and social injustice.
We are excited!
We are inspired!
We are confused.

The Rise of the Missional Church
Over the last few years there has been an awakening of what it means to be a Christian, to follow Jesus, to be the Church…
Many refer to this awakening as the rise of the missional church.
In very recent history you may have only been able to find a handful of churches that would describe themselves as “missional”.
Today there are missional churches, missional communities (and Gospel-Centered Families of Servant Missionary Disciples) popping up everywhere.
But what is missional?

“Missional” is a way of living, not an affiliation or an activity.
- Reggie McNeal

Missional is redefining what we formerly knew as “church”.
Missional reminds us the church is not a building, a service featuring 4 songs and a sermon, a creepy sub culture, or a country club.
Missional is teaching us that the church is you and me:
*everyday and ordinary people
*who are putting their faith in Jesus
*who are rescued by his grace
*who are following him together
*who are sent to our neighborhoods, workplaces, and cities on his mission
I have this theory that “missional” used to be called things like “Christianity” or “following Jesus”, but since those words have lost their saltiness a new word was formed (an idea I wrote about HERE)

The rise of social awareness and action
In 2012 we are more aware of social injustice than ever.
From Kony, to racism, to human trafficking, the water crisis, and even the organic food revolution: we are more aware than ever that the world is broken.
We long to see things made right.
We want to change the world.
Some of us travel to 3rd world countries, some of us adopt orphans, some of us buy Toms, some of us serve with local non profits, some of us tweet about all of the above.
In 2012 philanthropy and social justice initiatives have invaded our Twitter feeds, Face Book timelines, and have helped us decide which shoes to wear.

The rise of the Missional Church has met the rise of social awareness and action…
We are excited!
We are inspired!
And we are confused.
Should we be telling our neighbors and co-workers about Jesus?
Should we join the fight to end human trafficking?
Which is more important?
Why in the world would I want to do either?
In this series of posts I want to explore this confusion.
Although it is not guaranteed…
I would love for us to get some clarity as to why we find ourselves in a generation of people who want to change the world…yet we still can’t change ourselves.

To be continued….

Nate Navarro (guest blogger)
Pastor of Missional Community at Austin City Life
Founder/Director at Music For The City

Monday, April 16, 2012

Until I'm holy, I'm gonna hurt you!

It matters that we help each other get on in our spiritual walk. Until I do, I'm gonna mess you up.

It's really simple when you think about it. All sin is against you. I lie to you, cheat on you, gossip about you, am lazy and want you to pay, and on and on we go... all sin is against you. So it is really in your best interest that I stop.

In sanctification (God making me holy), I am quitting my sins... sins against my spouse, my children, my neighbor, my city, my government, my earth, or said another way... against you. There is no such thing as private sin, all sin affects someone or something.

So as God is sanctifying me, He is helping you too. As God fixes me, He is also fixing you. Let me give you a simple example. I sin and hurt you. Now you are injured because of me. God fixes me. I come to you and ask your forgiveness and make amends to you. That heals you. God fixing me, fixed you.

So as God is fixing me, He is also at the same time blessing all the things that I (in my sin) cursed, healing what I hurt, restoring what I destroyed, fixing what I broke.

As God fixes you, He fixes everything around you because a sinful you messes a lot of stuff up.

One of the reasons to help messed up people find "the God who fixes people" is because you get fixed at the same time. Remember, until I'm holy I'm gonna hurt you.

Please help me to be holy.