October 7, 2009
Reggie McNeal: 4-phrase definition of The Missional Church
As people emerged from the Renaissance, they could no longer think about the world the same way. Copernican heliocentric view of the solar system, for example, changes the way people view the sky. Similarly, changes are affecting how we view the world and church. These changes may be the biggest since the Reformation. "Doing church better" won't matter, since we've got the best churches we've ever had.
The Missional Church is:
the people of God,
We've been brought up in a world where church is a what, an it, something outside of me, something I go to, something I support, something I bring friends to. But the missional movement is about who. Until we get this, we will never join God in the streets where he is doing most of his work. Wherever I am, the church is already planted. Instead of planting "a" church, we plant "the" church.
partnering with him,
It's not our mission; it's his. We try to get God to fall in love with our efforts, when we need to fall in love with his mission. We consider "children's ministry" inside our walls, so we're so busy doing that, but we don't worry about the low reading levels of 3rd graders in our community. We honor Sunday school teachers as doing children's ministry, but we don't honor public school teachers as doing children's ministry.
in his redemptive mission
One church cancelled staff meeting on Monday afternoon and sent everyone out to pray, in a place where people are: park, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, etc. For 60 minutes, they were to pray one prayer, "Lord, help me see what You see." When they came back to their institutional agenda, they shredded it and were recaptured by the heart of God for people. They sent the entire church out to do the same; that night they had the church write what God showed them.
in the world
What if we asked if marriages in our community were better next year? If schools were better? In Cincinnati, every single school teacher is placed on a prayer chain, and receives a letter asking for any prayer requests. Open our eyes.
Which of these 4 phrases is the biggest challenge for you? Which is the biggest challenge for your congregation?
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