There is a shift that is taking place around the country when it comes to church. In the past few decades, church has been about what it can do for you. This required little from people in the pews which has caused for less and less seeds of the gospel to be planted into the soil of souls and therefore there is currently, a stingy harvest. But this is changing. There is a huge shift from attracting people to church meetings to getting the church (people) to be on mission 24/7/365. Wherever life takes them in work, play, family or other interests, the gospel is filling the earth as saints take the message of Christ with them.
A few weeks ago, I led a two week discussion about what the Bible has to say regarding being on mission. You can listen to these talks by clicking on Missiology 101 Part 1 and Missiology Part 2. I strongly urge you to listen to them if you were not with us.
These are important topics because they represent where I think God wants to take His bride as we move forward together. One of the key ideas is shifting our thinking about church from the worship service as being the center of the church experience to having mission become the center of our church experience.
In Missiology 101, Part 1, you will learn that from Genesis forward, God is and has always been a God of mission and a God who sends those who follow Him on mission. Mission seems to be the heart of God for His creation on earth.
In Missiology 101, Part 2, you will learn how significant a shift from worship being the center of our church experience to mission becoming the center of church experience can impact how we do church together. As you listen to this, be ready to get your socks knocked off :-)
It is our strong hope that each of you will take the time to download these 2 talks onto your mp3 player or listen to them online. Once you have done that, please help guide your house church into some strong discussions on how they will make this transition in focus. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to e-mail us.
When the shift from worship to mission being the center of our church experience takes place, a whole different set of questions are asked regarding how church is done. Let me explain.
If worship is the center of our church experience, one would ask something like the following set of questions:
* What day and time do we worship?
* What style of music will best fit the people of this region, culture, generation that we are trying to invite?
* What style of preaching would will we have? Topical? Verse by verse? Story telling?
* What will we do with the children, teens, college age students?
* How long will the worship experience be? What will be the components of the worship experience?
These are necessary questions when the worship experience is central. But what if mission were to become the central aspect of the church life? What questions would we be asking about what church should be and how it should look? Here are some questions that I suggest each house church should be talking about.
* God, where and to whom are you sending us?
* What are we to do?
* How can we accomplish it?
* What resources and equipping do we need?
* How can we adjust our lives to meet the task you are giving us?
* What does the rule and reign of God look like with these people?
* Where do we have to go to meet the people you are sending us to?
* Who will go with us?
* What will bind us together and propel us outward?
As saints in Christ, please listen to the talks mentioned above (you can download them to your mp3 player) and begin to dialogue with your house church about answers to the questions above as you become a missionally focused church.
May the SHIFT begin!
If you have questions or comments, please give e-mail us.