Going Missional…

baggageI read an article this morning that made me think about the many trips I’ve taken with my family.  When we pack the car to go to Grandmom and Pop’s house for Christmas with a family of five, packing becomes an art form if not an engineering miracle.  If you ask my wife, I am the worst at taking less.

If you have flown lately you understand the value of less is more.  Less baggage means more $$$$ in your wallet since they charge extra for each bag now.  Not to mention less baggage to lug through the airport.  We are having to learn how to travel light.

In the Fall 2008 issue of Leadership magazine, Skye Jethani, managing editor shares these thoughts:

Nothing to Declare (but the Gospel)

“To declare the gospel in a culture where fewer people are likely to step foot in a church means valuing swiftness over bigness, agility over security.  This means smaller, missional communities with less baggage may be better equipped to advance the gospel than some larger churches burdened by their programming and overhead.

Does this mean we should abandon all our institutional baggage?  Of course not.  But like a smart traveler, conditions today require us to be more discerning about what to take on our journey, and what to leave behind.”   (pg 5.)

What do you think?

I need your feed back.  So please leave your comments and questions.  Help create some dialogue here.


7 responses to “Going Missional…

  1. Good food for thought. Does today’s culture require the church to be more strategic in carrying out it’s mission? What do you think?

  2. Thanks jdellis –

    Culture is always shifting and changing. Here in the West our culture changes rapidly as people of other nations and cultures come to make America home. We have shifted over the last 50 years from a few cultural groups to being highly tribalized with endless sub-cultures.

    If you visit my teenage daughters lunchroom at her high school she could point out 30 plus sub-cultural groups sitting each in their distinct groups as a cultural melting pot of various beliefs, languages, dress and customs. These vary from geeks to goths, from the populars to emos and the list goes on and on. And, this is just High School.

    Much like a missionary sent over seas 60 to 100 years ago, where you would have to study the culture, learn customs and language, so we too face the same challenges as the church just outside our back door today.

    I see not a need to be more strategic but as we always have been continually strategic. We cannot settle in as if we have finnaly foud the way to carry out our mission. We can no longer afford to deify or make and idol of the way we have always done church. Our forms and methodology must change with the culture we are trying to reach with the Gospel of Jesus. Our massage is timeless, eternal and transformative. But, we must discern culture (know our times), evaluate our needed stretegy and go to them.

  3. I agree. One service will not fit the need anymore. I am huge fan of small groups (or whatever you choose to call them). I remember going to your camp & using “break out” groups. That was so cool because the youth could pick where they wanted to be, but regardless of the group they choose..it was all about Jesus. I love hearing about “MNF Bible Study” for guys who love football. Or “Basketball Night” for guys who love to shoot hoops & then study the scripture. Heck throw a “basket weve group” for guys who like to make baskets?! Jesus walked with 12 fella’s & He used different ways to reach & teach them. Fast foward to 2008…why aren’t we using the same mentality that He used? Ha, it worked for Him!

  4. As the church, how do we make ourselves relevant to our changing culture without diluting our message or compromising our values? In order to impact lives, we must have something that is attractive to people, and church as we know it just is not cutting it for a lot of people.

  5. I totally agree with all that has been posted here. However, I do think in our quest to find the language of the current culture and communicate the gospel in that culture that we still need to know our basics and major on them.

    How and where we connect will change with groups, but we need to connect. How and where we do community worship (congregational) will change, but we need to worship together. How and where we teach will change, but it still needs to be done. The list could go on. I think at times our quest to be relevant becomes a mystical holy grail of a method yet to be found. Not that it’s not something we need to be doing, on the contrary, I think we always need to be looking at our programing and make the adjustments for shifting culture without changing the message. I just think if we spend most of our time being who God created us to be and live lives day to day in the marketplace of integrity, generosity, and service (Christlike) then we will be relevant.

    I remember when I was youth pastoring there was the idea that we don’t have millions of dollars in our youth budget and cannot compete with media (movies, mtv, print, internet) in terms of flash, frills, entertainment. HOWEVER, we have what they can’t offer – life, community, and truth (Jesus) and they can’t compete with that.

    What we need to be doing hasn’t changed since the first church. Live lives of service, share the gospel, take care of the widows, take care of the orphans, pray, study, feed the hungry, etc. The good question is this, How best do we do these things in 2008? If it means videos and a hot band – great. If it means house church – great. If means ending vocational ministry and begin to tent make – great!

    I just don’t want us as the church to make ourselves irrelevant because we spend all of our time trying to find a way to be relevant. What’s authentic is always attractive. Taco Bell or El Cerro Grande? No contest. I’ll take the authentic stuff any day of the week. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Simplify: The Rabbit and The Elephant… « transforming life

  7. Pingback: Simplify: The Rabbit and The Elephant… | Transforming Life Ministries

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