I’ve been struggling the past couple of weeks on who I am here, how to deal with what I’ve become, how to implement dreams and visions that I have and how to push past the spiritual warfare that tries to keep me from those same dreams and visions.
The biggest idea I tend to ruminate over (big word alert!) is how much I enjoyed Mexico. I loved Mexico. I loved what I became there. I loved my friends. I loved the food. I loved the culture. And being back in Airdrie many of my conversations and interactions tend to centre on Mexico.
And that isn’t bad. It is part of the re-entry process. But I think I finally reached an important point today in church. (Yes Ro, corporate church can serve a purpose when approached properly 🙂 )
Mexico is done. Like high school, working at Earl’s and changing diapers it is an era that has completed. And like high school, Earl’s and diapers it served a purpose and was greatly enjoyable. But you need to leave those eras in the past and embrace the now.
(We all know those people who graduated high school, but never left the attitudes and behaviours right? I’m not one of them. When I left high school I left RUNNING.)
I live in Airdrie. I lived in Mexico once, but that was then. Airdrie is now. I connected deeply with the people in Mexico and still have some phenomenal friends down there but there are people in Airdrie that I can make those connections with. And I need to. They need it too.
And that is where the missional living comes in. There’s a term that gets used a lot lately, eh? But what does it mean?
I’ve reopened “Organic Church” by Neil Cole. It was one of the first books we read at MTS last year and it started the process of pushing me over the edge. The edge being satisfied with life and ministry, being pushed over it meaning I am no longer satisfied.
The main point of the book is that church should not be, and is not meeting once a week on Sunday morning. Church is a descriptive term of a group (2 or more, sound familiar?) of people that meet together, eat together, share life together and push/pull/guide each other closer to God. And they intentionally seek out others who aren’t in community and bring them in. That means we take the gospel to where there are people who need it. Bars, strip clubs, low rent housing, jails, homeless shelters, foreign communities…
(note: I have no problem with Sunday morning church. I love it. But it does not come close to achieving the Great Commission so therefore we need to begin the differentiation of “going to church” and the “Church”.)
(I’m sorry, I’m a big fan of cliche’s and similar statements. It’s just gonna happen)
The parable of the sower mentions the gospel being sown onto different types of ground; where do you think the most fertile soil is? I’d have to say it is where all the shit is. (I use the term as a noun, like fertilizer, so don’t be sending angry emails!)
Anyways, I need to sum this up. I’m off work this week and chances are I will have lots of time to think while I strip caulking off of windows. And when I think, I write.
So ya, Mexico is in the past. I know we’ll still have plenty of conversations about what happened down there and there will be many people we talk to at church who only see us as “the family who went to Mexico”. And that’s cool. (Today someone saw me and said “welcome back!” Which is funny since we’ve been back for three months.)
Talking about Mexico is a great way to start conversations about heading out into the dirt of the world and planting seeds! I don’t what we’re doing yet, but I am praying to find out soon. And chances are we won’t even figure out what’s going on until we’re knee deep in “fertilizer” and seeing God grab a hold of the people He sent His Son for.
I’ll keep you posted. And hopefully challenged. Possibly offended, but please know I am just saying my thoughts. I’m not trying to make anyone angry. Usually. 🙂
2 Replies to “Good bye past”
Hey! When did I ever say corporate church didn’t serve a purpose? I’m not dumb nor cynical enough to condemn how ‘church’ is done and why ‘missional’ would be ‘better’.
What I do know is that the way the vast majority do ‘church’ is ENTIRELY ineffective of doing what communities are supposed to do: join God in his purpose of redeeming creation.
We’re more interested in having the ‘pros’ (pastors) do everything while we sit and watch. I can’t blame this type of thinking since it’s how the posture of Sunday church is exclusively.
What we need to do is aggressively support people where they are at in the community, qualified as a result of their baptism, and release them to do what many are already doing.
Doesn’t seem like rocket science……
Speaking of baptisms, I was at a baptism service of an unnamed evangelical church last week and literally 95% of everyone baptised had a testimony that began, “i grew up in a christian home and…..”
That’s a monstrous telling sign of where church influence lies: almost exclusively within a closed community. Kinda lame and sad. Reach for more!
Anyways I’m preaching to the choir…. no wait, I’m not preaching… I’m sharing with the neighbors.
I know, just like bugging ya. Good call on the testimonies. Speaking as someone who grew up in the church and excepted Christ at an early age, I can’t say I was ever really taught how to go out and tell those who aren’t growing up in a “Christian” home. Those people have just as much hope as a tribe in Northern China of hearing the gospel.