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A Mission Shaped Heartbeat…

We had a challenging talk from Si jones last Saturday at Bourne Christian Centre, about mission.

We are called to love the Church -but actually what we love is our preferences for style, tradition, way things are done… The Church in scripture is God’s mission agency on earth, Paul says that “through the Church the manifold wisdom of God is displayed on the earth” -the Church is a foretaste of heaven.
The Church is the only organisation which actually exists for its non members, the only body with its heart on its edges.
Yet although this is theological and ecclesiological truth, often it isn’t our experience of Church.

Milton Jones once said “What do a helicopter and the Church have in common?”  They both suck you into the rota’s, the energy within our Churches normally is centrifugal, it draws into the middle, when actually it should be the other way around.

Archbishop Rowan Williams reminded us that “it is not the Church carrying the mission of God, but rather the missionary God having a Church”.

Therefore if the Church is worshipping and following Christ, wwhich it is, then she will be passionate about the things that Jesus cares about, mission, justice, compassion, transformation, hope, grace, restoration…

Renewal is about us having “the mind of Christ” -Romans 12 calls us to the “renewing of our mind”, and yet some how we think of renewal as changing our worship songs from the late 70’s the early 90’s.

Si Jones described renewal as “when we take risks on God because we trust him”, renewal is shown when “our evangelism/mission becomes dangerous rather than our worship band simply just getting louder”.

Mission should impact the way we do Church.

Mission should impact the way we communicate, the way we sing, the way we do everything.

Si told the story of planting a Church in London and a young black kid who had just become a Christian asked him “why do we sing folk music” -by which he meant Matt Redman/Tim Hugues stuff on a gituar… and so they ended up having DJ led worship. Worship was transformed by mission and the context within which it found itself, for people such as Si, it was actually a sacrifice of preferred styles and cultures for the sake of something far more valueable, the advance of the Kingdom of Christ here in this location.

We need to allow the God of Mission to shape us, to renew us, to enable us to be risk takers for him, to sacrifice our wants, preferences and desires for the sake of those ho don’t yet know him.

This is his call on our lives, both as individuals and as corporately gathered as Church.

The problem is we have become Consumers of Church.

The uncomfortable truth is Church isn’t about us, or our preferences, it is about Christ, it is about the lost and we ourselves are called to sacrifice for the sake of these who we are called to love.

John Wimber was accused of not having meaty enough sermons to which he replied “the meat is on the street” -we are not called to be biblical experts and great theologians but rather the equipped to seek and see the advance of the Kingdom of God. May your Kingdom come -HERE- as in heaven.

A great sermon may make us sound wise, and a fab worship time with songs we love, may encourage us, but a Church succeeds or fails but its fruit of transformed and changed lives.

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