Just some notes I took listening to the Nomad podcast where Mike Frost.
Purpose of church – not as simple as mission or being mission centred. At the very centre or core of what the church is is the responsibility to worship, build community, disciple people and serve the world all as part of mission. Mission organizing principle to steer the other purposes. Why should mission organize?
Worship has traditionally organized the church for years. Sunday focussed – evangelism becomes inviting others to worship. This is a christendom pattern. The current context demands that we let mission take over. Make mission the focus rather than corporate worship. Mission is a good cause to gather round – the mission context makes better disciples.
All equally important, but in a cross cultural mission context, we need to explore missions orangising principle. We must become or rediscover a sense of being sent. This is the function of mission. We learn as we are sent. Cf Lk 10.
Who are we sent to? We need to ask God. Which tribe, which network? Who is God giving us to as a gift. When worship is the organizer, the gateway to Christ is through the front door of the church, a come mentality. We must understand who we are sent to.
Can traditional churches be restructured? New missional churches will be easier but there will be a cross. Observation is that if a church has a burgeoning property and financial obligations, they are less inclined to move out missionally. Smaller churches are more in the place to do it. Worship, serving and discipleship happen better on the move. When something other than mission organizes the church becomes static. It can be difficult to break out of the invitational model – disempowers missional lifestyle.
Example of this in action? there isn’t a model for missional church. It looks entirely different compared to it’s setting. Not like a willow creek model. It will be shaped by it’s context whether slum or affluent suburb. Missional church, in a poor setting, it looks like health centres, schools, community innovation. Elsewhere is looks like biblical discipleship seminars for young professionals. It looks as different as there are people groups. Who is God sending us to?
Dangers and challenges? Biggest struggle is that church creates passive consumers. We go to receive, so we complain about the product. If these people are engaged in missional church, the danger is that they default to passive consumption. We are encultured consumers. Continuing to equip with training and teaching, missional practice, helps us work against consumption. Organisation can be messy in mission church where there is lack of money or buildings.
Where do we start? Who are we sent to? Hard to do mission at a distance. we need to move physically, but also socio-economically or culturally. Create missional practices.