Tag Archives: missional

What goes up must come down…

8 Apr

Going through the Gospel (good news) of Matthew looking at one chapter one day at a time. Today it is Matthew 8:

1When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him.

Jesus just got through going through something called the Sermon on the Mount. Some say that it is the greatest sermon ever. In Matthew 5-7 Jesus completely demolishes the proud, comforts the weak, speaks to the heart, and challenges us to rethink what our real treasure is. The sermon starts with him going up on a mountain and calling his disciples and it ends with chapter 8 verse one when he goes down the mountain with a large crowd.

Did you notice that?

He went up the mountain and called his disciples, 12 of them. When he went down the mountain a large crowd followed him.

After he goes and delivers the greatest sermon in history we find him in Matthew 8-9 interacting with people from wildly different backgrounds. From outsiders to insiders to religious and irreligious. He doesn’t give one size fits all pat answers or respond to everyone the same way. Instead, as the kingdom of God breaks in it meets people where they are at. It confronts and comforts differently.

Then Matthew 10 shows that after Jesus has given this teaching, after he has interacted with a multitude of people he then says to his followers, it’s your turn.

From my experience in church I think people want a Jesus that stays on top of the mountain. A Jesus that they can just sit and his feet and listen. These people often use the phrase being “fed” and are a pain to teaching pastors because they expect to get this religious high because a teaching pastor gives them more and more info that they didn’t have before. And they become more and more unsatisfied because knowledge alone ultimately doesn’t transform. A Jesus that doesn’t come down the mountain is safe. He doesn’t demand or challenge us to interact with people of wildly different backgrounds and he most certainly does not send us out and uproot us from all of our comforts. He also doesn’t interact with people who are different than us.

But here is the thing. A Jesus that doesn’t come down the mountain, metaphorically speaking, can’t lead a church to transform the world. So please, let your Jesus walk down that mountain. Watch all the wildly different people around you and ask what the good news of Jesus would look like if it invaded their lives. And then go and do what he would do and trust him to lead, provide and empower.

Missional Church Video

6 Feb

To find where this “missional” language is part of the narrative of scripture and not just a new fad for the church but something very old that needs to be recovered check out these links:

The Missional Language of “Sending” – Introduction

The Missional Language of “Sending” – The Pentateuch
The Missional Language of “Sending” – The Historical & Poetic Books
The Missional Language of “Sending” – The Prophetic Books
The Missional Language of “Sending” – John

What is Missional?

27 Aug

Continuing some thoughts on what it means for the church to be “missional”…

Here and here are some previous thoughts on the subject.

Their are too many people fishing in this pond – Confessions of a Frustrated Missionary

20 Aug

“If you want to build a ship, don’t summon people to buy wood, prepare tools, distribute jobs, and organize the work, rather teach people the yearning for the wide, boundless ocean.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution.”
-J. Oswalk Sanders

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The Missional Church and the Wizard of Oz

15 Aug

“A church which pitches its tents without constantly looking out for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calling….[We must] play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, and live by improvisation and experiment.”
-Hans Kung, The Church as the People of God

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Rob Bell at THEOOZE

12 Jan

Here is the link to the article.

Some noticeable things that stood out to me as I read the text. Rob Bell takes a lot of crap from people for not accurately communicating the gospel. But I think that he has a much clearer grasp of what the gospel looks like when it takes on flesh and bone. I think what people may be concerned about is his soteriology, not his understanding of the gospel.

Bell doesn’t reduce the message of the bible, prophets, apostles or Jesus to a few simple bulletin points. The bible is a complex book. I would say a theme that is persuasive is the kingdom of God. Which I think that the kingdom of God is what the gospel is about. It isn’t limited to the forgiveness of sins although it includes that as well. The gospel is about what happens when God’s kingdom collides with the current kingdoms of the earth. The kingdom of God, far from the crusades, is about restoring shalom (peace) to the world.

There are some in Christendom who accuse Bell of being an entertainer. They are the same ones that say just preach the word and let God do the work. Bell circumvents even getting into that discussion. He talks about his days in the band. If people don’t like what they hear (not lyrics necessarily but how the band comes across) they leave. Sunday services are the only place that we expect people to stay no matter what. So preaching is about not just being showing but speaking in a compelling way that causes others to want more.

When asked if his congregation that meets in a stripped down mall built in the 70’s or 80’s had plans to ever move to a nicer location he responded that there is a really down and out area of Michigan that he would love for his congregation to move too. It is interesting to see Bell, who is a Christian celebrity (I’m sure he would despise that title) could have anything at this point (buildings, nice house, show on TBN) has instead of making demands, moved with his family into a poor urban neighborhood.

There’s plenty more in the article check out about on hell and questioning…