On Mission

Seeking to Be a Disciple and Make Disciples

Don’t Write Off The Church


“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a
people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who
called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” 1 Peter 2:9.

Recently three of us from Missions Resource Network (MRN) were working
with a four family team preparing for an exciting mission field. We
asked each couple to choose a “spiritual mentoring” couple from their
community of faith. These mentors were not professionals, not mission
experts, just disciples whom they admired and trusted and wanted to
invite to join them on their spiritual journey. At a recent seminar,
the missionaries talked of what they desired from the relationship and
why they chose the specific couple sitting next to them. We heard
genuine words of hope and affirmation. We could tell that the
mentoring couples were feeling a little overwhelmed. After we
discussed God’s work through His people, one of the sisters said,
“Yes, I am a overwhelmed but I am excited. When our church decided to
send this team, I knew we would all be involved but now I feel that I
have been given a front row seat!” Her statement represents the desire
of many others, wanting to have a front row seat for God’s mission.

I have just finished reading, Introduction to the Missional Church by
Alan J. Roxburgh and M. Scott Boren. I was impressed with these
concluding statements of the ordinary disciples role in helping the
church regain its missional identity.

In most church traditions the people have been shaped by a culture of
experts and professionals to such an extent that they assume the
sources of direction and the answers to the challenges they need to
address lie outside themselves in paid staff, hired consultants, and
purchased programs. The understanding of missional transformation…
operates on a set of very different convictions… (p. 164).

The Spirit of God is among the people of God, not in the experts and
the ordained, but rights in the midst of all ordinary men and women of
the local church. This means that God’s very Spirit is in the local
church, among the ordinary men, women and children who comprise this
faith community. Therefore God’s imagination and God’s future is among
these ordinary local men and women who gather to worship, who confess
their confusion, who know the church is messed up and needs to change,
and who confess that they don’t have a clue what might be involved in
this change or how to go about it. This is where the Spirit is at
work. How dare anyone write off the church (p.165).

I believe that members sitting on the pew want a front row seat in
fulfilling the mission of God. In reality they want on the playing
field. Let’s not count the church out of the game, let’s equip them
and empower them to become a team player in missions for God’s glory!

Jay Jarboe

(Alan J. Roxburgh and M. Scott Boren, Introducing the Missional
Church, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2009)

Posted via email from Jay Jarboe

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