“Developing a Missionary’s Imagination:

            Beginning a Missional Conversation.”

 

 

On October 4th we’re going to begin a new topic in our adult education class. I introduced this topic in last month’s Connections. It’s entitled “Developing a Missionary’s Imagination.” Mission is what we do. It is the  projects and programs we develop to help those who we believe need help and support. These are the stuff the Mission Committee reports on annually and is underwritten by the church budget. However, that is not the end of the story. The questions that need to be asked are: what are the reasons for supporting these projects? What do we hope to achieve through these projects? As we carry out these projects, how are we witnessing to Jesus Christ? What is the end result of what we’ve done? Have we formed relationships, have we empowered those we’re serving? Have we left people more dependent than they were before we began our project?

 

     Having a missionary’s imagination goes right to the heart of being what has been called Missional thinking and Missional living. It really is all about making a shift in our thinking. Being  missional is a re-shaping of the way we think about mission and even how we identify ourselves personally and the church. It is not just a    matter of stating who the church of Christ is, but what it is called to be and do. Being missional is not an     evangelism program to grow the membership of the church. Being a missional Christian or congregation is all about embracing a missionary lifestyle wherein the mission of the church is the mission of God. It is a 24-7-365 frame of mind and heart that endeavors to bring the gospel of grace and love for the transformation of lives and hearts. It is embracing the posture, the thinking, behaviors and practices of a missionary in order to reach others with the message of the gospel. At the heart of missional living is the basic premise that all Christians should be involved in the Great Commission of Jesus (Mt. 28:19-20). The lessons will challenge conventional thinking as well as existing definition of, and rationale for, the mission projects traditionally underwritten by the church.

 

    Though most churches have mission statements and talk about the importance of having a mission and       engaging in mission projects, missional churches go the next step in the development of their attitude toward the world. This class will provide those who attend the opportunity to expand their understanding of God’s call and the church’s purpose. Please accept this invitation and the challenge to do some 21st century thinking about who we are and what God has called us to do. We will be meeting in-person, in Fellowship Hall at 9am. We will also Zoom and record the class for those not yet comfortable in attending. Mask and social distancing will be required. Contact Kelle Haller if you wish to participate via Zoom.

 

-Pastor Dick Johnson