“Revolution” is a huge word. It sounds like painted faced warriors crying “freeeeedom”. That’s not what I mean. This is the “revolution” that a wheel takes, a moving forward. It could happen fast or slow but it is happening. If it doesn’t happen, we’re stuck and everyone needs to get out and push, which is messy but necessary sometimes.
In the church I grew up in, THE mission question was, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” The only proper responses were, “Here I am. Send me”, or to put money in the offering. Now the mission question is, “How are you involved?” There’s a wide variety of ways and an entire lifestyle to be developed. Everyone has a next step in missional living. What’s yours?
There is a greater emphasis on:
- Wholistic missional living and everyday justice instead of doing tasks or cold evangelism. The Church will be better at connecting the dots of why and how to care for others not just what to get done. We will get greater at verbally sharing the Gospel through life stories and not just spiritual laws.
- Co-learning rather than condescending. The book Serving With Eyes Wide Open gives some great principles and tragic illustrations of this.
- Relationship above organization. The latter must find their place in serving the organism of the Body of Christ not trying to keep their programs alive.
- Short term trips (like Serve) as one mode of involvement and a focusing on many other ways to participate in missions. Life is missions and Jesus is as/more concerned with the other 51 weeks of the year. Short term missions is not a stand alone event. It’s meant to be woven through the spiritual journey to expand the worldview and Godview of the Goer, the Host, and those “receiving” the work. Understanding the types of short-term trips will be essential. There are 8 variables (length, skill set needed, on-field ministry, etc.) that make up thousands of variations. Applying the Standards of Excellence to each type will be essential. (www.soe.org)
- A long list of possibilities for mission involvement as unique as the individual.
Missions is about the Church being seen, felt and heard in the trenches of human experience (The Core, Christine Caine). We must continue moving forward toward that objective which is articulated by Jesus in Matthew 28.
There’s a wide variety of ways and an entire lifestyle to be developed. Everyone has a next step in missional living. What’s yours?