Thursday, August 14, 2008

more of my missional thoughts

I see my role of church/ministry leader as more of a facilitator; providing or creating opportunities for people to connect with God and with one another. Being missional is not a program with an agenda, it's simply being there for people when they need a friend. it really comes down to being a great commandment/great commission liver in the community; being the hands and feet of Jesus; loving and serving others the way He did. Praying for them and with them as God opens those doors. That can't be taught in a classroom but can only be learned and lived out through prayer and practice.

Any insight that I have to offer comes from God and 20 years of trying to make the old, warn out forms of church work. They don't work because of the mindset that we have developed over centuries of church history. Trying to wrap our minds around the true, Biblical way, as opposed to what we know and have been taught is a difficult endeavor. Bible colleges and seminaries, for many, many years have been training men and women to run the church like a business/institution. The truth is, the Church for centuries has gotten it wrong, and guys like Alan Hirsch, Brian McLaren and Frank Viola, to name a few, are standing up and saying, "it's time to turn back; back to our Christ given mission.

"There are a growing number of "dissenters" as Shane Clairborne calls them, who are seeing a new imperative to get back to living and loving the way Jesus modeled and commanded, in communities of faith that are organic and authentic. Jesus' first disciples turned the world upside down because they knew Him and had encountered Him on a personal level. When we experience that kind of relationship with the living God it effects us in such a way that we can't help but live it out and have it show through us to the degree that others are drawn to what we have. Our personal encounter with Christ also effects the way we approach evangelism and missions. When I share my faith it comes through my lifestyle, my attitudes, my manner of speach, my character, as much as in my words.

Jesus called His followers, salt of the earth and light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16). They were to be His witnesses in both word and deed. They were to sprinkle the world with His word as it lives in them and show the world what Christ in us looks like, which either draws people to Christ or offends them.