Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Deep Roots

White Boat on Body of Water during Daytime

For the Church to reclaim its missional essence, it must first understand God's plan in the Abrahamic Covenant.  In Genesis 12:2-3, God promised that, through Abram (later Abraham), all the nations of the world would be blessed:

"I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen 12:2-3).

Following in Genesis 15, God cut a covenant with Abraham to this effect; the future nation of Israel would be a special people for a special purpose, to bring blessing to the world and represent before God the peoples of the earth.  Following on the heels of this covenant, missional churches understand that, through Christ, the church is now the true people of God (1 Pet 2:9-10); therefore, local congregations are the "local manifestations of the covenant community of the King" (Charles Van Engen, God's Missionary People).  Local churches are to represent God to the world through their communities in which they reside and to represent the lost, the hurting and broken before God.

For further insight, note how Jesus adapted this concept in his call to his disciples. The disciples were to be in the world, but they ultimately were not part of the world.  Yet, they were to go into the world and represent Jesus and His Kingdom--"As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world" (john 17:18). Missional churches see themselves as disciples of Jesus sent into the world on behalf of God the Father, the King.  "They are God's special people who, because of God's call, emerge in human history as the covenant community of the King, a branch chapter of the kingdom of God" (Van Engen, God's Missionary People).

As I work with churches around the world, I ask the following:
  • Is your church on mission? Or merely have a missions department?
  • Is your church a blessing to your community?  In what way?
  • If your church ceased to exist tomorrow, would the community notice or even care?
The answers reveal how missional a church really is.

Our  reFocusing Team at CRM has the Missional Pathway--an effective process to help churches become truly community-impacting churches!  It's a powerful process to help churches connect with their deep roots in God's mission in the world.  

I invite you to take a look:  The Missional Pathway Video

Perhaps we will meet one day.