Tuesday Re-mix –
In The Gathering, we are going through the gospel of John. It has been a wonderful study for us! I still feel convicted when I really study Christ’s “missional” ways and his passion for people…ALL people. It is just not possible to really come to an understanding of the Biblical Jesus without feeling moved toward people in need.
But even as we read convicting passages from God’s Word, many in my church will be thinking to themselves, “Our church needs to be about feeding hungry people and helping the homeless in our community…our church needs to continue clothing them and providing other help for them…this is something our church needs to do.” And those are good thoughts, but they are indicative of the institutional mindset which is keeping many of us from ever reaching our true Christian potential as individuals.
You see, there is more to the missional mindset than just becoming a missional institution. The missional lifestyle is a lifestyle for each of us as individual Christians, whether or not our particular church is ever seen by its community as being missional. The attitude at my own church provides a great example. Not that long ago, my church was literally blazing trails in the area of social ministries. We owned and operated a restaurant run almost entirely by volunteers, the profits from which went to feed people in our near-by soup kitchen. We provided leadership in some of our community’s homeless shelters and clothes closets. We had a strong presence in several of our city’s project housing complexes. We provided Christmas meals to between 400 and 500 impoverished families each year. In this area of social ministries, our institution was a well-run machine.
So, over the last 30 years, each of us as church …