Ingrown or outwardly focused? For me or for you? For us or for them?
Most churches have mission statements. That’s cool, I guess. But a lot of times I find them more confusing that anything else.
“First Church of Wazoo exists to call sinners to repentance, edify the Saints through expository preaching, reach into all the world through missions, minister to singles, teens, children, families, young couples, elderly, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, play the organ, rock the drums with relevance and on and on and on …”
Today’s Christian publications have a new buzzword. Everything is now “missional.” But few people seem to know what that means. Some people get ticked off because it gets attached to “emergent.” Other people see it as a new marketing opportunity and a new word for “seeker sensitive.” Still others make it about social justice and sending mosquito nets to Africa.
It’s weird to me that the gospel gets so bogged down when it gets into our hands. We sure do like to reduce Christ to our preferred style of music or desired experience.
Granted, the American church is becoming more and more ingrown. Christians gather with other Christians to listen to Christian speakers and do Christian things. Christian music, Christian video, Christian clothing. We take our kids, Joshua, Sarah and Jeremiah, to a Christian festival and throw around Christian frisbees. We all look a lot alike.
The gospel looks pretty simple to me. It’s got a real “go” focus. Missional churches (or should I say, “communities” for those who dislike the word “church?”) are built on go. They are go focused.
I think there’s a good discussion to be had in church leadership circles. Two simple questions could be on the agenda, “Are we a for us church or a for them church? What is God calling us to be?”
I think that God works in both the “for us” and “for them” communities. But, as for me, I’d rather be for them.
Mssional church model defined in a simple, less than 2 minute video: