I’m having a nice quiet vacation, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to jot down some thoughts arising from Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration (Lectureship).
One of the recurring themes of the various sessions I attended challenged churches to consider their mission. The various speakers questioned whether churches do a good job of engaging their community/neighbours. Maybe we’ve become better at serving ourselves than others.
One of the reasons for this introversion is our understanding of our mission. Sometimes churches become more concerned about maintaining their perceived purity than connecting with those God places around them. Another way of saying this is that “we lose sight of our mission.”
Over my church life I’ve most often heard the church’s mission described in terms of the Great Commission in Matt. 28:18-20, & Mark 16:15-16. One of the presenters suggested that Lk 10:1-24 provides an alternative (better?) model for us. While the Matt & Mark passages give more detail as to the message, the Luke passage provides some guidance regarding methods and mindset.
These passages all share the instruction for Jesus’ followers to GO. I wonder if at times we don’t interpret this as “go to church each week” rather than “go and purposely engage the world with the Good News of Jesus.” I don’t think this necessarily refers to doorknocking campaign. I guess I’ll talk more about methodology later, but here’s an interesting article. Although it primarily discusses church giving, it also describes one church’s efforts to serve its community.
For at least 10 Wednesdays this summer, the Morning Star Church is contributing free popcorn and sodas to people attending the concerts in Highland Park. The 400-member church pays for the snacks, feeding up to 1,500.
Other passages that describe the evangelistic mission of the church include Acts 1:7-8. Can you think of other passages of Scripture that describe the mission of the church. I really think this will make an interesting list. Please leave a comment with your suggestion.
One speaker that I really appreciated on this topic was Mark Love from the Resource Center for Missional Leadership at Rochester College. If this topic interests you I think you’ll enjoy the website.