C.S. Lewis is rich…as I am reading it to my kids, I am touched deeply with the truth of our place, position and life in Christ. The latest challenge came when Lucy finally saw Aslan again after they were “Called” back to Narnia by Prince Caspian under the tutelage of Doctor Cornelius (if you don’t know these names you gotta read the book).
She took one look at Aslan and said, “Aslan you got bigger!” Aslan assured her that he did not change or grow one bit. He said, “It was you that grew! And the more you grow the larger I appear.” How true is that. I am amazed at how big God is these days.
Psalm 63 starts off by saying, “O God, you are MY God…” I have been reading that sentence for about a week now. O God- you are God, there is no other God like you, you a the great God the great King the creator God. There is not questioning that but is He close. A RESOUNDING YES! The Psalmist says, “You are MY God!” That is huge because He wants to be known by me and worshipped and shared to others. In sales it is a common understanding that if you don’t “own” the product then you can’t sell it. May God be bigger in our eyes, hearts and souls so that we might know Him more first of all and then make Him known more fully.
I was reading in “The Missional Leader” by Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk the other day and I was impressed that there is a difference between Mission and being Missional. I know some have already thrown up barriers to that type of word phrasing but it makes sense. They say the Church has quickly become “for a lot of people to be a haven in a heartless world, a dispenser of religious goods and services to individuals.” We are not a haven (these are my thoughts not the authors), a bubble, a retreat center, we are a military outpost treating casualties from weekly battles and recruiting new soldiers daily, weekly, all the time to join in this world wide campaign. I learned that the Crescent, the Islamic religious symbol, came from a guy named, “Osman of the Ottoman Empire”, he had a dream that the Crescent Moon would stretch across the world. This is aggressive. I don’t think you would hear any of them declaring themselves to be a “haven in a hard world!”
So to be clear, Mission is an event, like a trip or project. It normally has an end date and a start date. People go through training to be involved. However being Missional is a lifestyle. It may have a start date but there is no end date in mind. It is 24-7-365 in nature. A person can go on a Mission and not be Missional, but they can’t be Missional and not be on a Mission.
Times have changed. Seriously, we live in a different world. Incrementalism is no longer the way of the present. Technology won’t allow that to happen. I have been reading a ton of books lately for a class I am taking. It is a really fun time for my life right now. I love to read and when you read a bunch of books on one topic, things begin to get clear.
Reggie McNeal says, “Evangelism in this worldview is about churching the unchurched not connecting people to Jesus (no wonder we have the de-churched around- these are my thoughts) . It focuses on cleaning people up and changing their behavior so Christians (translation: Church people) can be more comfortable around them.”
Is this what Jesus went through the terrible experience at Gethsemane for? Oh my stinking goodness. IF this thinking is true, then the Church should be ashamed of itself. I will try and give the church the benefit of the doubt. But, it is not looking good.
We must face the music in the Church. Our invitations in evangelism are more like getting people involved in our Church rather than the life of Christ. However, spirituality is at an all-time high. But not what we might expect. It is funny how informationally driven we are versus being transformationally driven. Satan does not have an information problem, he has a transformation problem. THE CHURCH FOLLOWS SUIT.When people want to find God, we need to show them God, not rules on being in “OUR” Club. McNeal maybe closer than we would like him to be saying, “We have failed at missiology. We don’t know how to function in a culture of religious pluralism. We own God, and others have no right to Him except on our terms.”THE LARGEST QUESTION WE NEED TO FIND AN ANSWER IS, “WHO IS THIS FOR?” Jesus’ Journey to the Cross and Beyond is a great place to find answers to maneuver in this changing cultural milieu. STAY CLOSE TO JESUS!!