Missional Living – It’s WHO we are, not WHAT we do
The rough notes outlined below formed the basis of some thought’s I shared at church a few weeks ago as part of our Missional Living mini-series. Jonny has posted some of his thoughts on his talk on the Holy Spirit on his blog here , well worth a read. Great discussions and a real sense of God moving in us as a body of believers at Boardmills in recent times : Bring It On !!
- Flea Circus Clip (above) illustrates the danger of having an insular looking church, confined by the limits of religion will fail to reach it’s full potential.
- Rather we are to be outward looking, kingdom focussed and Christ centred, filled with his Spirit and seeking to reach a culture with his gospel of Good News.
- In this post-modern, post-Christian, secular western society that we live in we need to re-discover the gospel afresh, re-discover our missional roots, and re-think how we communicate the unchanging truth’s of Scripture that is alien to the majority culture around us.
- As we observe a world that is more technologically advanced than any other point in history, yet more broken and fragmented than ever due to it’s worship and indeed celebration of sin we may despair and feel all hope is lost.
- LINKIN PARK LYRICS – FEEL
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong
- This is nothing new, it has been the repeating cycle of humanity throughout the bible narrative, throughout church history right through to the technologically advanced and spiritually deprived 21st century world that we are sojourners in today.
- Abraham, Noah, Daniel, Joseph, Esther, the apostles, Paul : all fore-fathers of the faith who have walked these shores before us, not compromising their faith in hostile environments, but standing firm and in many cases redeeming the pagan culture around them for Christ.
- JOHN STOTT – “You can’t blame the meat for going rotten, that’s what meat does. You blame the salt for not being there to preserve it.”
- MARK GREENE – “We have a leisure-time Christianity, not a whole life Christianity”
- SACRED / SECULAR DIVIDE
- We have somehow packaged a “SAFE”, “CLEAN” and “COMFORTABLE” Christianity, neatly packaged in it’s holy community that is set apart from the depraved world around us. This is not the call of the kingdom that demands we “Go into all the world and make disciples”, that calls us to be the “salt preserving, light giving influence on society”, that calls us to “take up our cross and follow”
- We are not to be CONSUMERS of culture, but rather those who seek to REDEEM and indeed RECLAIM the God values in a fallen world by LIVING OUT LOUD against society’s flow.
- JOHN STOTT – DOUBLE LISTENING : “listening to both the word of God and to the world around us”.
- The Gospel is HOLISTIC and INCARNATIONAL – It affects all of life, and every aspect of who we are.
- For many friends / colleagues / family we are the only gospel they will read, the only church they will know. How are we representing our Lord and pointing others to him?
- In order to do this we need to seek the empowering of the Holy Spirit, given to each of us who have received salvation in Christ, to help us and change us to be the people God calls us to be.
- THE COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS – Acts 2:42-47
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
- This passage follows the coming of the Spirit, and the birth of this first community of believers as they seek to grapple with their calling to take this gospel to the ends of the earth.
- The sense of belonging, togetherness and genuine love for one another and the world they inhabited was evident for all to see. Their passion for prayer, for scripture and genuine fellowship shone bright for all to see, and there was added to their number daily those who were coming to faith.
- How have we fallen into the trap of a sacred / secular divide in our western, comfortable Christianity?
- How can we relearn from the scriptures how to BE the church, in THIS place, in THESE days?
- What can we learn from this early fellowship of believers in how we do church?