A Missional Church -- Part 2
"You can not lead where you will not go, and you can not teach what you do not know."
That for me sums up what part 2 is all about in my journey. In a sense my disillusionment with the church was really disillusionment with myself. Questions came flooding in . . . you can't just point the finger at what the church is not doing you have to first look at yourself. How many significant relationship do I have with people outside of the church? How much does my life resemble how Jesus walked (remember 1 John 2:3-6)? What have I done for the hungry? The poor? The prisoner? The naked? The sinner? (Remember Matt 25:31ff) Who have I brought into the Kingdom recently? How have I transformed the culture with the Gospel? How well do I really understand the Kingdom of God? (Granted it is ultimately God doing those things, but he is trying to do them through me . . . )
Sure I can parse Greek verbs, or tell you what a hortatory subjunctive is in Greek grammar . . . I could describe the difference between supralapsarianism and sublapsarianism (though I can't spell them) . . . but unfortunately those things aren't on the list of things that pleases God.
As Anne Lamott once told me (in an audio book on my ipod), "In order to get in to heaven, you need a reference letter from the poor." Though clearly a reference letter won't save you, God does that in Jesus, however, there is some truth to those words. James 2 talks about a faith that results in good works, in feeding the hungry, and Matthew 25 isn't too off from that.
What difference has my faith made? Am I bringing about God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven?
So in the last couple of years (and I am still on this journey--probably always will be) these questions have led me to try to form my life around the mission of God.
Here is a couple things that changed:
1) I began a study on the kingdom of God and the gospel studying the life of Jesus in the gospels, so that I would have a better picture of how I am to live. (If you are really bored you can read the last year of my blog to gain some of the fruit from my study.)
2) In trying to live out these things I stumbled across Bridgetown ministries, and serve there with the homeless. Feeding them, clothing them, washing feet, cutting hair, and just loving them. This experience helped to form my view of the world, more with the eyes of Jesus.
3) I began looking to develop new relationship with neighbors, friends, and anyone who I could find who were not following Jesus, just to love them and maybe inspire them to seek to follow Jesus as well.
There were some other things as well. But the point is I began to change. My perspective on life began to change, and my perspective towards the church began to change.
So the things I was learning, I thought maybe I could teach . . . the things I was doing I thought, maybe others could join me. And I set out on a journey to not only live a missional life, but to actually help form a missional church.
To be continued . . .