Lots of stuff to process today, I’m currently wrapping my head around (sounds better than “reading”, huh) Alan Hirsch and the Brother’s Ferguson. Of course, the overall modernist approach to ministry is the missional model, but how in the world do we bring this idea to pass in our time? It’s difficult to place a model that works, especially in the more “doctrinated” circles that exist. So what are we to do? My first response is, “Start asking the questions.” Now is literally the time to put ourselves to the test. Are we seeing any redemptive change in society? Put another way: Is the power of redemption impacting us, those around us, and the world we interact with?
Now that’s where we start, here are some thoughts that are helping me build a framework (mindset) toward action.
-Small group –What’s the point? Jesus modeled building, pouring into, doing life with (whatever else ya wanna call it), 12 guys (there were others but they were all an extension of this initial troupe). Are we finding like minded, appropriate to our station, “others” to grow with? Or are we just going through the motions of intimacy with none of the investment, pain, and true joy of intimacy
-The New Testament does not solidify or ordain an official “form” of church; allowing Christianity to integration into all levels of society and become diverse enough to build a host of traditions without apostasy or ridicule. This may mean that what works for some will not work for all, and what works for most shouldn’t be pushed to all. “I became all things, to all men, that I might save some.”.
-I’m not looking/begging/trying/working/teaching for church growth (if that’s all I wanted there are proven models to get there). No, on the contrary (anti-growth), we are investing in impact. Impact in my personal life, impact in our faith communities, and impact in the social structure. That’s where the gospel matters, that’s where God wants to bring His power to save.
-There will be a point when we have to take a side between two subtly opposing mentalities that garner two opposing approaches and results.
(1) I must do the best I can in spite of the evil that surrounds me and hopefully God can start to bring change and “fix” the problems here.
(2) God placed me here with intent and purpose, orchestrated the circumstances and needs around me in such a way that would allow His glory and love to be fully given to the redemptive purposes of Jesus Christ.
I’m aware that in this context, with these words, it’s easy to pick which one we should believe, but just below the surface is the subtlety that so easily lulls us into inaction and “church routine. One is a stance that says “there isn’t much we can do”; the other says “only we can do it”!
There is more, so much more. . .