Missional Moment: Worship may not be enoughPosted: May 21, 2014 Filed under: Bishop's Blog 2 Comments
Bob Crossman, the New Church Strategist with Path One at The General Board of Discipleship, wrote a great article on the Leading Ideas blog this week suggesting that excellent worship and programs may not be enough in reaching out to those who are unchurched or consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.”
Perhaps there was a time when inspiring worship and great music brought people to church. Today, however, in an increasing number of places, the quality of what is happening within the church is not enough to reach those outside the church. Those outside the church, including the growing number of those who state their religious preference as “none,” seek more from the church. They demand authenticity. And even those with no connection to the church understand that an authentic church is a serving church. They respect a church that reads Matthew 25 on Sunday and spends their time and money with the “least of these” during the week. They expect engagement with the community.
What Bob suggests is that the best way to engage with the community is found in the simple act of being in the neighborhood and listening to the people who live, work, and play around you:
The best way to learn about the mission field around your church is to listen and learn. While demographic reports from public and private resources offer much data about a community, you cannot discover your mission field exclusively by studying reports. Data must be tested by walking around and spending time with the people who live in your community. Ministries that bless communities in Jesus’ name often arise out of unorganized, crazy, and chaotic conversations where we listen for the hopes and dreams of people within a mission field.
This begins not with big events or large numbers of people. It involves face-to-face conversations sitting in a park, a diner, or a coffee shop. A pastor sat at Venice Beach, California, with a sign that read, “Tell me your story and I will give you a dollar.” A line formed, and she was busy all afternoon!
What are some of the ways you can engage with the community around you? Where are the places where you can go and listen to your neighbors? How can you best fulfill the gospel mandates of both Matthew 25 and Matthew 28?
Click here to read the full article.
I like these thoughts and find this teaching to be very true…not only in practice, but also to the life I am called as a pastor. If being “missional” is always a program, or something that can only occur inside our buildings, then we have forgotten what it is to be a disciple. It gives me joy to see the church embracing the way Christ did ministry as a way we all can be in ministry today. It feels a lot like being set free!
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