Tag Archive: missional

we cannot do both.  if we try to do both it drives us nuts & it’ll end badly.


“now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”

if we really believe this to be true of us as individuals & as a church [that’s all of us belonging to different churches under the banner of Christ] do we act like this?

we want to, desperately, answer this question with an absolute “YES!!”  and i think we answer the question believing in our hearts that the answer is truly “yes.”  this verse has the invitation to thrive in this life & not just focus on the life to come.  the truth of how we answer can show up in our practices & ways of operation.

something that i’m observing lately is the impossibility of thriving & surviving both at the same time.

here’s what i mean…

if we’re going to to all, exceedingly more through Christs we have to be willing to let go of our “we’re just barely making it” mentality.  for some of us this mentality is where we’ve lived for so long we don’t know any other way to be.

“we’re broke, don’t spend anything”

“we’ve never done it that way before”

“what if this doesn’t work”

“what if they don’t show up”

and there’s something significant that happens…

calcification of new ideas [creative arthritis]

when this happens other dominoes start to fall.  and as a result we are no longer seeking to thrive & grow & become this thing that God is trying to reveal in us.  at some point we decided the best thing to do was to cut our losses & just try to ride out the storm.

maybe this will be a helpful picture…

i’m not a horse rider, & have been on a horse a few time in my life.  but what i have noticed is the relationship to holding the reins & the horse moving.  i may need to check my facts on this, but i don’t think you can spur the horse on to move/run/jump/navigate the trail & at the same time hold the reins back.

while it’s true that there are times for survival & a tightening the reins. a ‘we’ve just got to get through this.” mentality.  but at some point the rebuilding needs to begin.  a re-structuring takes place.  recovery must happen.  we cannot afford to loose sight of what it was like to thrive & be & do something significant.  and if we’ve forgotten about those days, it’s time to connect with someone who does.  and if no one is around who remembers it’s time to re-cast a vision for tomorrow.

important point: remembering the significant things of the past do not entail a return to those things.  it’s just important to remember when survival wasn’t the only thing that mattered.

here’s another thought that’s just occurring to me.  history will record what happened; it always has & always will.  so you and i & our time here will be recorded.  i don’t want the things that i did & participated in to be thought of as missed opportunity & potential wasted; a missing of God’s call.

issues of life

so this morning [tues., april10] just finished watching the live stream from Q d.c.  this is an annual gathering of leaders hosted by gabe lyons in locations around the country; bringing together authors, leaders & culture shappers for the purpose of charting the direction of the church in the coming future.  check this link if your further interested.

one of the sessions today was a panel discussion on reducing abortion.  i know, hot topic!  esp. in the nations capital.  this was a good discussion & furthered the need to unpack the complicated details surrounding this issue.

the temptation is here to suggest that it’s not a complicated issue.  scumming to that temptation over-simplifies the issue.

yes, abortion needs to stop.  but if that is the only point we talk about it ends up creating a gap in who the church is able to help, who is willing to listen to the church & the kind of compassion the church offers.

consider this – 80% of unmarried evangelicals 18-29 have had, or are currently having, sex

also – of those having sex many are becoming pregnant & among those nearly 1/3 are having abortions

within the church how are we addressing this?  or more to the point…are we addressing this at all?

the short answer is this: no, we are not addressing this at all!

in our rightly placed zeal to end abortion we, the church, have turned our attention [in many, but not all cases] away from those that are pregnant or have had an abortion.  statistics bear out that many women who have been in this situation do not feel comfortable in their local church & wouldn’t know who to trust at church.

so the primary question becomes this; how do we deal with this?  how do we become a place where people in difficult circumstances, having made poor choices [not just issues of unplanned pregnancies] come to trust us, God’s people @ His church, again?

for one i think we need to be honest about what’s going on with the young people that are attending our churches.  secondly i think we also need to talk about alternative solutions like adoption.

may we be well-aware of the condition of the culture & wholly lean on Christ for direction, compassion & a vision for the future of His church.

the following link is from a blog post from ed stetzer [author & church researcher].  there has been a move in NYC to remove churches who rent the local school on the weekends siting church & state separation.

Ed Stetzer – A LifeWay Research blog on theology, missiology, missional church, church planting, church revlitalization, and innovation..

the choosing

pretty interesting how God brings things into your view, things He wants to speak to you about…

this morning i’m reading a post on ed stetzer’s blog.  he’s a church researcher & writer for lifeway research & his post from mon. was pretty interesting.  it was centered around a church being a “gospel centered” church [one that focuses on getting the person[s] to accept Jesus & meeting their spiritual needs] or a missional/justice church [the focus being the doing of good for people, meeting their physical needs in highly practical ways].

these two approaches have been, in many Christian circles, at odds.  saying [and i’m paraphrasing here] that “if you  really care about people you’ll be most concerned about where they’ll spend eternity, so focus on getting them to heaven.”  the other side of the coin says [again a paraphrase] “simply meet the needs they have; food, water, clothing and allow God to speak through that.”

this is somewhat simplistic but these tend to be the general over-tones.

one comment posted was a mention of the tension that exists in this conversation.  i think that’s a very valid point, there is tension here.  he then went on to say that our job is to live within that tension, to make sure we are doing both; meeting the needs of those around us & speaking Jesus into their lives.

if we simply look at the life of Jesus, this tension seemed to be where He lived.  how many times does He feed people that are hungry?  and when it’s evident they need something more than food He speaks eternal truths that can affect their eternal destiny if they choose to follow.

so, who was it that said we [the church] had to choose what kind of church we were going to be?

are we going to be a “gospel-centered” church or are we going to be a “missional/justice] church?  who said that we had to choose?