A few thoughts and reflections from a book I’m reading by Alan Roxburgh:
Book Link: http://a.co/0s55H9t
*God’s mission doesn’t start with the church, but definitely includes it as a strategic place for worship, teaching, spiritual habits/practices, and fellowship–but as a means to prepare and send the called into the world for the good works.
*God’s mission is rooted in love, justice, mercy, peace, healing, unity, flourishing (shalom).
*Primary questions to be asking: “What is God up to and where is God active in my local context?” It will most certainly include the traits mentioned in previous point.
*The role of the church is not: to entertain and meet our consumeristic needs, to declare who is in/who is out, “get my blessing”, a marketplace driven entity, a society where you pay for member services.
*The role of the church is to PARTICIPATE with the loving efforts of God’s mission in this world.
*A church plant is not to get other believers to come to your church. It’s to be about the God’s mission in the local context and discern how God is actively healing, renewing, and redeeming so that we might participate in those efforts. We can’t do that if we live miles away, already have programs and agendas to make others our projects/objects.
*We listen and observe to see how the Wind is moving, where it’s active, who it’s touching.
I grew up in a church that felt more like a society of members that was there to meet our needs. If “visitors” came, that was a win. But as much as we were referred to as being “apostolic”, there was not much to actually being apostolic (being sent into the world). If anything, we were discouraged to engage with the world for fear of becoming “unclean” or fall to temptation.
I’m not disgruntled or upset with my church upbringing. It’s where I met Jesus, learned how to pray and read the bible. But as always, the Wind blows where it pleases and I had to find a new paradigm to view God, the church, and my own role.
I’m digging Roxburgh’s book. I think everyone who takes their Christian faith seriously and wants to participate with God’s active presence in their local context ought to be digging in.