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Change!?!, Community, Missional

The Gospel….

Here is a quote from Scot McKnight’s book “Embracing Grace”… “A local church always performs the gospel it proclaims. This may sound odd, so let me emphasize the world “always”. A church always performs the gospel it proclaims because its performance is its proclamation. If you look at a church and what it does and how it operates you will see the gospel of that church. The important point to make here is that the deepest indicator of that church’s gospel cannot be limited to the pastor’s sermons or the Sunday school teacher’s teaching or the doctrinal statement’s affirmations, or the summer camp offerings, of the aesthetic expressions. The sure indicator of the gospel in a local community is how those Christians live.”

Now here is Scot’s definition of gospel… “The gospel is the work of God to restore humans to union with God and communion with others, in the context of a community, for the good of others and the world.”

Interested in knowing what you think!


Where the rubber hits the road…

For the past few weeks, I have asked participants at Community of Joy to keep their eyes open and take notice of the needs they see in our community; ways we can bless others.

Yesterday in both worship gatherings, we brainstormed a list after a sermon on the call of Jesus to love our neighbors. Here are the results. I am inviting the congregation to do two things with this list. 1. Pray over it asking God where they individually would best make an impact. and 2. Come to the carry-in on Sunday @ 12 noon prepared to share where they feel God leading them to get involved. We will need team leaders and team members. I am aware that we can not do the whole list at once…. but I want us to start moving out into our community to bless them with God’s love.

The list…

+ Get involved with Habitat for Humanity locally (perhaps choose a Saturday a month to send a team to work)
+ Parnter with Pinehurst Elementary School (it’s in our neighborhood) A person who works at the Bd of Ed immediately volunteered to talk to the Principal there to ascertain the needs.
+ visit homeless in their environment
+ Install a new bathroom floor for a handicapped sister – have team members need team leader.
+ Visit Shut ins
+ develop support systems for neighbors or others who are going through illness/ or elderly (run errands)
+ mentor children in public schools
+develop a day center for helping our homeless brothers and sisters break the cycle.
+develop a support network for folks who lost jobs
+ develop a support network for persons about to loose or having lost homes
+develop a SU type “Big Event” where we solicit work projects from our neighbors and participants
+ promote “eco-justice” issues — care of environment
+ help a handicapped sister with mowing, yard work

The list is not complete… it can be added to as they see needs.

Just thought I’d share how we are working at being more missional.

Change!?!, Community, Missional

A conversation on CHURCH… let’s talk!

When we moved into our new building at Community of Joy, I didn’t and still don’t want us calling it a church. We are the church! The building is NOT the church. It is the ministry center. Here is a quote from Reggie McNeal’s book that goes along this line of thinking…

“… we need to change the conversation about the church from “What is it?” to “Who is it?”. As long as we keep the discussion tied to its “Whatness,” we will keep the leadership efforts focused on building better institutions and limit ministry to those individuals who choose or are able to participate in an attractional program. If we can shift the discussion to “who”, we can be free to explore how the church shows up wherever followers of Jesus live, work, and play. Efforts can shift to community and incarnational expressions of Jesus in all sectors of the culture.”

I think Reggie is right on and we desperately need to make this shift. Think of the impact it will have on the world. We are the hands and feet of Jesus and are sent into the world to share his love and life with everyone!


More on missional living…

Another quote from Reggie McNeals’ book….

“The missional life shows up in every endeavor, because the church has been sent by God into the world to reflect his heart for the world. This is what it means to be on mission with God, partnering with God. It is not a mission that is pursued as something added to daily life, something outside the normal range of activity, a quest to do something beyond your life’s assignments. It is a way of seeing oneself as partnering with God in daily life, executing the mundane as well as pursuing the sublime, with an intentionality of blessing people and sharing the life of God with them.”

Change!?!, Missional, Young Adults

Some more thoughts on church…

From Reggie McNeal’s book Missional Renaissance….

“The missional church is not a what but a who. When we think of church in what mode, we focus on something that exists apart from people, some “out there” that people join and attend and support. We try, then, to build great churches, believing that this is God’s primary strategy to engage the world. Inevitably, this preoccupation leads to discussions of how we can “do church” better. Thinking about church in who mode focuses on what it means to be the people of God. The central task is developing great followers of Jesus, believing that God has created people to demonstrate his redemptive intentions to the world in and through them. This perspective frames an agenda so that the community of faith may encourage all its members to be faithful to God and to his mission as they live out being the church in the world.”

“The missional church believes it is God who is on mission and that we are to join him in it. As Bishop Leslie Newbigin says, ‘It seems to me to be of great importance to insist that mission is not first of all an action of ours. It is an action of God.'”

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