Church, community of grace, Mission, Mission Shaped Church

Decoding Mission…

I’m passionate about Jesus and want everyone to know him, and hear his good news in a way people can understand.
However, one thing I have come to realize how much jargon exists around mission?
-Are you a Mission Shaped?
-Are you being fruitful on your frontline? -Where is your frontline?
-Are you in an Intentional Community?
-Are you part of an inherited model of Church or you a Fresh Expression of Church?
-Is it indigenous or culturally sensitive?
-A few years ago we used to ask “is it Seeker Sensitive?” but we seem to have stopped asking that question which seemed quite an important one to ask?
-Isn’t it about BEING Church rather than GOING to Church anyway?
Is this New Wine bursting from an Old Wine Skin? (Okay, that’s a Biblical image I can’t moan about that!) Or is it new wine in a new wine skin? Perhaps it is a transitional wine skin?
-Is it Mission or is it Evangelism? If so where does Disciple-making fit into this?
-Is it WHOLE LIFE Discipleship?
-Are we intentional about Mission?
-Is Mission and Discipleship Organic as we ‘share life together’…
-Are we growing leaders?
The problem is there whole language around mission and evangelism, and although people have got good at speaking about it well, I’m not sure we have got that much better at doing it.
I wonder if spoke less about Mission and actually did it whether are language would be come clearer?
I wonder if sometimes we over complicate it? Is it sometimes a case of just talking about Jesus and walking with people as they ask questions and explore who he is, and as we walk with them we love them irrespective of if they ever do, or don’t come to know Christ.
Here is an attempt at some decoding…
 
Mission Shaped: Mission means a sent people, Mission is often used to describe a task we are given, what is the Christians great task? I think it is summed up in Jesus’ teaching on Prayer, the Lords Prayer, “Let your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”… Or Jesus great Commission “to go into all the world and make them my disciples”. So being ‘Mission Shaped’ is allowing what we are called to do,to shape who we are (both individually and corporately).
 
Fruitfulness on the Frontline,  the idea is where has God placed you, where do you spend most of your time? Where do you hang out? Where are you friends and family? We interact with literally thousands of people, these are our frontlines, are we impact the lives of these people with something of the Kingdom of God. Are we seeing fruit (lives influenced and changed for the Kingdom).
 
Intentional Community, is where we choose to be a community (maybe even living together) and as our life together based around shared values we can become together than we are on our own.
 
Inherited Church: The Church we have received.
A fresh expression of church is a new gathering or network that engages mainly with people who have never been to church. There is no single model, but the emphasis is on starting something which is appropriate to its context, rather than cloning something that works elsewhere.
Indigenous: Does it come from the community you are trying to reach?
Culturally sensitive: Does it work and is it appropriate for the people you are reaching?
 
Evangelism: Comes from the word “Evangel” which means “Good news”,its about proclaiming something through words, through deeds and more recently we’ve rediscovered God’s supernatural power in evangelism.
Discipleship: Its not just about getting people to ‘pray the prayer’ or start coming to Church, but actually to follow Christ and become like him.
 
Whole Life Discipleship: Not just being able to fit into a Churchy culture and language but in everything we do, and in who we are, we reflect Christ to the world.
 
Growing Leaders: Someone once said ‘success isn’t success without a successor’ we need to see people raised up, equipped and empowered, to pass the batton onto, so that the next generation can hear the message of Jesus in a way they can understand. At the heart of all of this is a very simple cycle. Disciples making Disciples and that has been happening since the Holy Spirit broke out onto the streets of Jerusalem.

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