Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Missional 3: Engage

So far, we have described the idea of
"being missional" as both a lifestyle (not a program) and also having a sense of purpose in how we live in all areas of life (versus simply "being" as if that were more spiritual than "doing").

And we reminded ourselves that, as people "on mission" with Jesus, being missional is a function of the Kingdom of God.

Many Christians have found it very life-giving to get outside the four walls of the church and begin to serve their communities in practical ways. Works of service, coming along-side existing agencies like homeless shelters or a soup kitchen (among many others), cleaning up graffiti, community gardens -- the list could go on.

Serving the poor and marginalized is praise-worthy in and of itself. It's an important component of Kingdom ministry. When the apostle Paul laid out what he'd been preaching to the Gentiles, the other Jewish apostles were in complete agreement. "Their only suggestion was that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do," says Paul (Galatians 2:9-10).

But it's not just about doing good deeds among "the least of these", as important as that is. Pastor Mike now adds another facet to this jewel we call "missional". 

Breaking out of "church mode" and becoming more involved in serving our communities is a big step, so let's give people who have stepped out of their comfort zones some credit. But we're only part-way to being fully missional.

If we do lots of great service projects, then we've succeeded at being a blessing. But if we never engage with the people as people (versus "ministry projects" or that nebulous generalization: "the poor"), then we still have a little further to go to become fully, functionally missional.

Perhaps the question that we need to wrestle with today is:
Do we engage in acts of service in hope of creating relationships? 
Or do we invest in relationships and be alert for opportunities to serve?

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