The Church clearly is not a building or program. The Church is the Body of Christ. Jesus said, in his commission charge, GO and make disciples. He did not say go and ‘plant churches.’ He commissioned all disciples or followers of Jesus to do 3 things: Go, Baptize, and Obey all of His Teachings. Every believer has been commissioned by God himself to be in the disciple making business.
Church metrics should be seriously re-evaluated. At the top of the list is ‘sending capacity’ over ‘seating capacity.’ It’s not about how many sheep can pack into the corral but how many sheep have left the corral to GO and find the ‘one’ lost sheep.
The Church is not an audience – it’s an army, an army of people who are equipped to do ministry in the streets. No army exists to reside in its barracks. It trains for deployment. The BULK of that training is done in a 6 week boot camp, then for some intensified training that specifically readies ‘each’ soldier’ for battle. Mission isn’t safe. “All’ Christ followers have been enlisted to God’s army. The mission is not defined by us, it has been defined by God himself.
Our mandate: To plant the seed…the seed, which is Jesus, into the soil. That process implies we are making ready the soil for which the seed will be planted. It implies we will stay there and water it. The growth has NOTHING to do with us. God gives the seed LIFE and HOPE. God grows the seed from a sprout to a fully mature, reproducing reality.
1. We have a STRATEGIC PROBLEM: We are ‘all’ going after the same people, essentially the people we all ‘hope’ will come to us. Here is the problem. 60% of the population will NEVER come to us. We must GO to them!
2. We have a MISSIONAL PROBLEM: The problem is how we communicate the “good news” 60% of the population feels alienated from our current expressions of church. “It is impossible to teach a man what he thinks he already knows.’ What I believe about Church determines how I ‘do’ church. Rom 12 – Don’t be conformed to the patterns of the church you have experienced. We have permission to BE THE CHURCH outside of ‘old structures’.
Church is NOT a religious event, a building, a structure or a destination. This means we need to rethink our vocabulary. “Did you ‘go’ to church?”
Before I anger all of the Traditionalist: We need a proper balance of two things:
- Church Growth – where we maximize traditional ecclesiology (COME AND SEE) It was in this model where we started to “DO” Church better. God has used it. This model is not wrong, but neither is it complete.
- Missional/Incarnational Community – This is where we learn how to live in biblical community, loving one another in authentic relationships out ‘on the streets’ by planting the seed of Jesus in the fertile soil of the rich relationships that God has granted us.
Ministry does NOT = Volunteerism! Ministry = a revolutionary gospel. It requires an ‘all in’ sacrifice. It requires a people who give their lives to their new commander in chief…JESUS.
How can we BE the church rather than just a body that “DOES” Church? Do we want a bunch of ‘good ideas’ or a do we want to get behind the GOD idea? GO and BE THE CHURCH.
Isaiah 49:6 I will make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
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