Do we expect to be missional?

There were some great comments on my last post on whether to create community at the expense of being missional.  I recommend especially clicking through to Chris Jefferies article.

I'd also like to respond to a couple of posts about the organic nature of mission.  Few of us enjoy the prospect of programmatic mission, and as someone commented, people intensely dislike being made into a project, albeit a worthy one.  That is not at all what I am talking about.

In every aspect of life, we need to listen to the Lord and respond to what he says. This is especially true in the context of mission. However, what we hear is often colored by our sense of expectancy (or lack of it).  If we never expect God to say, "Go and start a conversation with that person," we're not likely to hear him say it.  Do our lives, including our prayer lives, have an outward focus or an inward one?

If we are already praying for the not-yet-believers in our lives, if we are asking God for opportunities to share the story of our walk with God with someone, we are much more likely to recognize his promptings to share our faith.

The same is true for us as a group.  If the focus of our simple church is ourselves and our own situations, and we never pray for our neighbors or different groups within our cities, we are not likely to hear him say, "There's a refugee work I want you to involve in," or "Go and prayer walk this low income housing project."

Let's ask God to give us his heart for the world around us. It's a prayer he delights to answer.

4 thoughts on “Do we expect to be missional?”

  1. Good note, Felicity. And I really appreciated the supplemental blog posting from Ross Rohde.Good stuff.
    Must admit these are the first “e-quipping” pieces I’ve read since returning from our years in Africa (www.MeniscusInc.com. Tell me if what I write makes any sense.
    I so much agree that we trend to sequentialistic models of discipleship, and it is such thinking that leads to us asking the ‘community’ vs ‘outreach’ question. Like the “Do you still beat your wife?” question, there is no winning answer. That we would need to ask the question reveals that the initial DNA of our simple community is missing some chromosomes. Just as the love of God and his grace leads us to obedience, so the love of God expressed in relationships (community) includes an open door and invitation to others (outreach).
    I think that most of us who’ve been ‘converted’ into simple church still carry the goofy DNA imprint that Jesus’ Church can have a closed door or that somehow our fellowship expression can be ‘full’. A small group can be ‘full’- no more open chairs – but I’d propose that everything we ever launch, start, impart, teach or speak into in these days in simple church must carry at inception the DNA of ‘go ye’ and ‘make disciples’. That is meant to be the normal Christian life.
    I know I as a trained ‘professional’ pastor and as a Simple missionary/community development worker, I realize that my ‘conversion’ has not meant full ‘transformation’ with regard to my understanding of Church and disciple-making.Don’t we all get divinely restless in this area of our own lives and our lives together?
    I know I’m wandering here; in part because I’ve not being ‘housebroken’for so long or re-acculturated back into the American faith conversation. In many ways it is much, much easier to impart simple church DNA into foreign cultures that are starving for the grace of a caring and open community. The USA is a tough mission field and an increasingly non-relational culture. Exciting turf, and we’re glad to be home!
    Thanks for your patience, Scott Lycan

    Like

  2. Good note, Felicity. And I really appreciated the supplemental blog posting from Ross Rohde.Good stuff.
    Must admit these are the first “e-quipping” pieces I’ve read since returning from our years in Africa (www.MeniscusInc.com. Tell me if what I write makes any sense.
    I so much agree that we trend to sequentialistic models of discipleship, and it is such thinking that leads to us asking the ‘community’ vs ‘outreach’ question. Like the “Do you still beat your wife?” question, there is no winning answer. That we would need to ask the question reveals that the initial DNA of our simple community is missing some chromosomes. Just as the love of God and his grace leads us to obedience, so the love of God expressed in relationships (community) includes an open door and invitation to others (outreach).
    I think that most of us who’ve been ‘converted’ into simple church still carry the goofy DNA imprint that Jesus’ Church can have a closed door or that somehow our fellowship expression can be ‘full’. A small group can be ‘full’- no more open chairs – but I’d propose that everything we ever launch, start, impart, teach or speak into in these days in simple church must carry at inception the DNA of ‘go ye’ and ‘make disciples’. That is meant to be the normal Christian life.
    I know I as a trained ‘professional’ pastor and as a Simple missionary/community development worker, I realize that my ‘conversion’ has not meant full ‘transformation’ with regard to my understanding of Church and disciple-making.Don’t we all get divinely restless in this area of our own lives and our lives together?
    I know I’m wandering here; in part because I’ve not being ‘housebroken’for so long or re-acculturated back into the American faith conversation. In many ways it is much, much easier to impart simple church DNA into foreign cultures that are starving for the grace of a caring and open community. The USA is a tough mission field and an increasingly non-relational culture. Exciting turf, and we’re glad to be home!
    Thanks for your patience, Scott Lycan

    Like

  3. Scott, welcome home! These are some great thoughts! I agree with your general assessment and the need for every group we launch carry a “go” DNA
    I think that one of the hardest places on earth to be a Christian is here in the USA. The reason? There’s no cost to becoming a disciple! Even in the UK, we experienced ridicule so people thought twice before becoming a disciple. There was a social cost, even if no physical risk. In other countries we’ve visited, people face martyrdom if they admit to being a believer or at least losing a job or getting thrown out of rented housing. And you’re right that the independence and non-relational nature of this culture is a barrier to imparting the missional component of simple church DNA.

    Like

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