Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What Not To Expect

I found this the other day and really liked it, good stuff of what a good missional community shouldn't look like. Neither Frankston or the Huddle are there yet (not that i think its something you ever really arrive at) but we're on the journey.

TEN THINGS ANYONE WHO JOINS IN A TWENTY FIRST CENTURY MISSIONAL CHURCH PLANT SHOULD NOT EXPECT

1.) Should not expect to regularly come to church for just one hour, get what you need for your own personal growth and development, and your kid's needs, and then leave til next Sunday. Expect mission to change your life. Expect however a richer life than you could have ever imagined.

2.) Should not expect that Jesus will fit in with every consumerist capitalist assumption, lifestyle, schedule or accoutrement you may have adopted before coming here. Expect to be freed from a lot of crap you will find out you never needed.

3.) Should not expect to be anonymous, unknown or be able to disappear in this church Body. Expect to be known and loved, supported in a glorious journey.

4.) Should not expect production style excellence all the time on Sunday worship gatherings. Expect organic, simple and authentic beauty.

5.) Should not expect a raucous "light out" youth program that entertains the teenagers, puts on a show that gets the kids "pumped up," all without parental involvement. Instead as the years go by, with our children as part of our life, worship and mission (and when the light shows dim and the cool youth pastor with the spiked hair burns out) expect our youth to have an authentic relationship with God thru Christ that carries them through a lifetime of journey with God.

6.) Should not expect to always "feel good,"or ecstatic on Sunday mornings. Expect that there will ALSO be times of confession, lament, self-examination and just plain silence.

7.) Should not expect a lot of sermons that promise you God will prosper you with "the life you've always wanted" if you'll just believe Him and step out on faith and give some more money for a bigger sanctuary. Expect sustenance for the journey.

8.) Should not expect rapid growth whereby we grow this church from 10 to a thousand in three years. Expect slower organic inefficient growth that engages people's lives where they are at and sees troubled people who would have nothing to do with the gospel marvelously saved.

9.) Should not expect all the meetings to happen in a church building. Expect a lot of the gatherings will be in homes, or sites of mission.

10.) Should not expect arguments over style of music, color of carpet, or even doctrinal outlier issues like dispensationalism. Expect mission to drive the conversation. OH AND BY THE WAY-You should not expect that community comes to you. I am sorry but true community in Christ will take some "effort"and a reshuffling of priorities for both you and your kids. Yes I know you want people to come to you and reach out to you and you're hurting and busy. But assuming you are a follower of Christ (this message is not for strangers to the gospel) you must learn that the answer to all those things is to enter into the practices of "being the Body" in Christ, including sitting, eating, sharing and praying together.

2 comments:

B.C. said...

Digs, I like the not expecting to just "feel ecstatic" and happy on Sundays, tis very true. Church and community can be a recharge at the start (or end, however you like it) of the week, but it also can be just a place for you to do your own thing, confessions, prayer, lamentation, whatever.
Good post. Also, I'm not too fond of the "YEH STEP OUT HOORAY FOR JESUS" youth stuff. It's scary enough for Christians, let alone new kids just beginning to explore or even looking for new friends. Things like Vetamorphus are way cooler.
Peace,
Chongy

Mitch.k said...

Like it Digs, the talking of youth stuff suprises me on one level. The talk of some things being cooler than others, what does cool mean??? What gives us the right to decide if people are giving God the glory in the right ways? Ok so typical "hype" church is Boom yeah. I have been there and can say its a crazy place which I didnt really connect with. But what is to say there arent others who like it and have found God there? I think everyone person finds God in a different way, we all see God differently, and we all connect with God differently. These places while we might not like them, for others they may be what is needed in their life. You may see boom and write it off as being an over-hyped crazy place. But the fact is, the people leading it put trust and faith in God to show them where they are needed, and that is where he took them. Also something worth adding is that boom has a huge small group program which supports kids and helps them to grow better relationships with people and God...all of which is very important to Gods Kingdom. Anyway i have said more than enough, hope to hear from anyone who reads all this.
Much Love,
Mitch