Home > Uncategorized > Balancing the Tension: Missional Communities

Balancing the Tension: Missional Communities

Hey lets talk real for a second. Or maybe I will type and you will read and then you can type in the comment section and I will read. Then I will type…im done. I think there is a dilemma afoot right now in many a local church. Thankfully over the past couple of decades a breath of fresh air has come into many American churches. In the wake of widespread church decline overall, many churches are experiencing new life and a increased sense of purpose and mission. This species of churches is engaging our culture with the gospel and its effects in a way that even the major news outlets are taking note of. These churches are of course carrying out their God-given mission to “make disciples of all nations.” I’m grateful for how these churches are waking up the other 2 main species of church: dying churches & consumer focused churches across america and I work in what I consider to be one of the new species. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of such an others-focused community that far more closely resembles the church I read about in scripture than anything I’ve ever been a part of. So hear me in that light.

This new species is not bullet proof however. In taking up the “missional” mantle, these churches run the risk of sacrificing the biblical community they are called to be on the altar of “the mission.” I’m seeing early signs of it and I’m nervous. Here is why: I think it is actually easier to lock arms beside another christian and go share jesus’ love with non-christians than it is to face up to a fellow believer and deal with your own sin.

Christ however told us that it would be how we loved each other that would bring people to know him.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

So we may be in danger of sacrificing the very apologetic that may be most powerful: unity in the church. (I think we see MORE unity in the missional church, because mission brings unity, than we do in consumer or dying churches where ME fighting and In-fighting can easily dominate the scene.)  So what do we do? I dont think I’m suggesting a big shift as much as I am a call to intentionality with the local church you are a part of.

Do you have a small group where a few people in there know your garbage? Are they helping you see how the gospel needs to reach into the recesses of your life and transform you? Are you doing that with anyone? Are you caring for others and being cared for? When you let non-believers get exposed to that kind of a community, they are going to want to stay around.

I sincerely believe this refocus toward biblical community will be the single greatest evangelistic effort of the church in the next 40 years. what do you think?

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