missional church – simple really

Following up on my only two choices post, I thought it would be worth posting the video Jonathan mentioned in his comment:

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Two choices… inward or outward.

Which are you choosing and how is it working out for your church?

(HT Johnny Laird and Jonathan Blundell for the video)

5 thoughts on “missional church – simple really”

  1. You set up a false argument. It’s not an either/or choice. It should be both/and. Otherwise you simply alienate an entirely different group of people and that group will probably be the ones who have loyally supported the church (institution) over the years. Not everyone has the skills, temperament or calling to be missional in the sense you are suggesting. But many witness quietly in the background through their care and concern and support of others.
    But you’re correct in a sense. The church should be aware of the need for an outward-facing (and moving) aspect to its work and it all too often isn’t.

  2. Isn’t witnessing quietly through care and concern being exactly the kind of missional I’m suggesting? I don’t think I am setting up the arguement as an either / or. I’m suggesting that if the focus is inward and only on sustaining the institution then we have failed.

  3. You said, “Two choices – inward or outward?” πŸ™‚
    But yes, I agree that, as far as the CofS is concerned (as it’s the only denomination I can speak for), it has been in maintenance mode for too long. The legacy of that is that it does become exclusively inward-looking. But then the flip side is to look at the number of churches who support overseas missions or international agencies. That’s still very outward looking.
    The issue is then about reaching the people on our doorstep. But the big questions then become who you mean and why do you want to reach them? Is your desire to ‘save souls’ or is to to make a difference in your community? If it’s about making a difference, what distinguishes the church from any other caring agency? If it’s about saving souls then is ‘quietly witnessing’ the way to do that?

  4. Quietly witnessing is certainly one way to do it. I’ve never liked being shouted at! πŸ˜‰

    Your question about what distinguishes the church from any other caring agency is a good one. Motivation would be one thing but I wonder if that question is wrapped up in another choice that isn’t as simple as it seems. Does the question not make the same presupposition that you suggest I made? The church isn’t ony about mission. It is also about worship, discipleship and service. While those things may overlap they are not the same so I would say that the distinctive feature of the church are its other activities.

  5. Just to add my tuppence worth. I think this video sums up for me what we, as Christians, should be doing. Quietly showing the world God’s love through our daily lives. The church gives us the resouces and encouragement to do this. It allows us to feel our small acts of kindness or the way we live our lives can be our call – our mission.
    Some will not get we do things becuase we’re Christians, some will turn away because we’re Christians. But who knows just how our small acts of love for those we encounter everyday will, long term, affect others lives?
    In some ways, this video also sums up part of my sermon from last week. Lives touching lives, though us sharing God’s love quietly and naturally, can spread God’s love in ways we can never imagine. The church should be the sending our place, not always the gathering place.

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