It’s been an interesting journey the past few months (years) as I’ve tried to find clarity in my own heart in regards to the future of Christ’s church. A spiritual discontent has been growing for many years, as a pastor and even more as I’ve walked away and started dreaming about my future role in ministry. I love the church, the global church, and how God continues to change the world through this institution despite us. I want the church to change and grow, I want it to remain relevant, I want it to stay true to its foundation, but expand and flow with the local culture.
My unrest stems from a desire to be part of a Christ community that has the potential to reach my friends who are far from Christ. The discovery of the missional church movement and the potential of missional communities has lit me up inside. The more I read, the more I find others who are engaging in this movement, the more I realize this is (at least) the beginning of the answer I’ve been craving. A healthy missional community is the right environment for my friends to discover Christ and see His relevance in their lives. A community on mission in their community is what healthy Christians and the world are craving from the “church”. A missional community is what I have been craving, and what I believe is the next move of the local church to continue reaching our world for Christ.
It’s time for the church to think outside of the “attractional” approach to reaching their community. We need to get outside our Sunday performances and move into the grit of everyday life in our community, alongside our fellow Christians, atheist, searching, lost. It’s our community that God has called us to connect with. We have to move from a weekly experience to a daily immersion. We have to rethink how our faith translates into real life, how to merge our beliefs and our jobs, how to rectify the lifestyle Christ chose and our desire for stuff. We need more authenticity in how we talk about our relationships, our sins, weaknesses…we need more environments for true conversation. The Christian community has accepted a mediocre faith and is worshiping a safe Jesus. We are ripe for change…I am ripe for change.
I have no desire to be part of a church that is not asking the difficult questions. I don’t want to move to a ministry position that is simply building a volunteer team to create a Sunday environment. I would work in a church that is attempting to change, that is willing to make difficult decisions, experiment and see where God leads them. I would love to go plant or be part of a team venturing out to build a missional community, but either way, I want to be part of the movement. I want to get in the thick of it with my family and “blaze” some trails for Jesus!