Healing Power

Running commentary on how Jesus' Healing Power is affecting my life - and helping me to help others.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Response to Missional? When?

My friend and pastor, Sean Palmer, has a great vlog (that's video blog and blog is short for web log so I guess vlog is short for video web log). It regards the "Missional Church". In it, he asks us to define a "Missional Church". My answer got too long for a comment, so I'm posting it here. And it got even longer once I posted it here...

A "missional church" (all one phrase) is not an easy thing to answer. I tend to think about it on a global scale rather than an individual scale. Forget about the local institution and focus on the universal church.

Missional means spreading Christ's word. Pure and simple. Not necessarily evangelical, but giving people what they need physically and spiritually. How can an institution do that? Star of Hope. Boy and Girl Scouts (those are in alphabetical order - not picking favorites). Food pantry. Prison. Clinic.

The question becomes less about "What can I do," and more about "How did Jesus do it?" Jesus was at the places where people needed Him. He hung out with tax collectors and sinners. Perhaps in our day He'd be hanging out at the rock concerts and nightclubs. Whether He participated or not is answered by 2 Cor. 5:21 - that He knew no sin.

So, to be missional, the church needs to be in places it really doesn't want to be. Montrose. Sixth Street. San Francisco. Vegas. The church - and that means its people - need to be out in their unchurched world and living the life.

  • Be a friend to a flaming homosexual without endorsing - or condemning - their lifestyle.
  • Be a friend to the alcoholic without endorsing - or condemning - their lifestyle.
  • Be a friend to the Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or other non-Christian without endorsing - or ridiculing - their choice.
Once you establish the friendships, as Jesus had, you can see lives change. You can see them healed.

I think singer Todd Agnew hit the nail on the head in his song "My Jesus":

(Note: This video is not by Todd Agnew)

How does one become missional? One simply looks past the lifestyle, the dirt, the corruption, the addiction, the crime... and finds a soul to love. That's what Jesus did. I know it's hard. The last place I want to be is in a place where everybody around me is living a life I consider to be repugnant - a place like a homosexual community. But that's where My Jesus would be. He wouldn't participate, but He would definitely show the love.

So, in a nutshell, WWJD is being missional. Go there. Do that. Get the T-Shirt. Remember - it's not just about the poor. There are probably more wealthy unchurched than poor. It's about sinners. It's about you and me.

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