Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Learning to Live Real Community

When we talk about being missional, at the same time we need to talk about being relational. If we don't we turn God's mission into an act of violence where we try to accomplish something for God. People, usually called unbelievers or the lost, become objects of our monologue. We turn ourselves into Gospel agents of aggression, trying to get something done for God. I've been down that road far too many times—although we didn't use the word "misssional"—and I've no desire to go back.

The Apostle Paul wrote: "make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." (Philippians 2:2-3)

The way we love one another determines how we will be on mission. In our modernistic mindset we tend to divide outreach from community. But if we think about it, this makes no sense whatsoever, that is unless we want to turn the life of the church into a set of endless programs, some for community and some for outreach. But oh, that's exactly what we've done.

Today, go forth on mission by simply putting Paul's instruction into motion. Put one or two people in your life ahead of yourself. Put a neighbor above yourself. We don't have to think big. We only need to think about the interests of others.

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