Thank you for participating last Sunday’s forum. I hope we made the first baby steps towards a simple and missional ESM.
I came from a traditional view: the church was surrounded by 4 walls and everyone was safe to practise holiness inside. Outside was secular and unholy. We came to the church to be cleansed by God’s word and enjoyed the fellowship of our brothers and sisters. Mission and evangelistic works were done by a few “elite” Christians who were “specially gifted.” Though it was nice and well-meaning; it was not exactly biblical.
We want to do what Jesus wants us to do. But why simple and missional?
Being simple is to scrap programs and activities that do not achieve our goal of being missional; because they burden our leaders from studying the Bible and being good teachers. Leaders are not entertainers. They should not waste their time and energy to create programs for you to enjoy — unless they are missional.
Being missional is not an add-on when everything is business as usual. It is not a mission statement or a slogan. It is not a mission program or a once a year short term mission trip. Being missional is a complete re-calibration of the church around mission. It is a paradigm shift of the whole ministry. It is a complete change of mindset of individuals. Practically, in whatever we do, we ask: are we doing it to spread the gospel?
For example, why do we gather together in worship and fellowship? We gather so that we may scatter. We gather to edify, to encourage, and to equip one another; so that we have enough resources to scatter and to witness Christ in this world. This mindset should determine how we plan our program.
According to Michael Frost (VP of Morling College, Director of Tinsley Institute), there are 3 results of being missional:
(1) You will see God differently. God is present in all non-Christian context. As the Father sent Jesus, Jesus sends us. God is a sending God.
(2) You will see the church differently. The church is the called-out one; being the salt and light of the world. Simply ask: could we be taken away from this neighbourhood and would anybody notice? Would our neighbours grief or rejoice at the lost of our church?
(3) You will see the world differently. Everybody bears the image of God, including the one you hate so much.
Rom 12:1-2 asks of us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices; do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Our “default” mode is to be tribal. But God wants us to be global. It requires a renewing of our mind.
30 Oct 2011