Sunday, January 8, 2017

Long Train Runnin'

Freight Train

I once heard the musician Moby describe the angry reaction guitar players had to electronic dance music and its rapid proliferation: "It's like yelling at a freight train."

What a great image!

Something so massive, with so much momentum coming at you.  It's very hard to stop.

That's the way it feels with the challenge of moving a church into missionality.  The prevailing models of church under Christendom have such a force that to attempt a shift into a new direction seems like yelling at a freight train.  It won't stop.

But if the train is heading towards broken track, it has to!

The current model of church, "come to us, the professional church" has had a good run.  It has planted churches, made disciples, formed seminaries, linked arms through denominations, developed amazing programs, fostered creative youth, sports, medical, and other outreaches, and overall been a dominant part of western civilization.

But the world has changed.  What happens when the current models of church don't keep up with population growth?  What do we do when 70-80% of the unchurched population doesn't relate or care about anything the church is doing, despite our best efforts?

It's time for the church to be the church in the world.  Instead of come to us, perhaps it's time the church train its people to truly minister out there.

Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you" (John 20:21).  I think its time we recapture the full dimension of sending.

To get your head and heart around these monumental shifts in church paradigms,  I highly recommend the following:

Michael Frost, The Road to Missional, Baker Books, 2011

Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways (2nd ed.), Brazos Press, 2016

Reggie McNeal, The Present Future, Jossey-Bass, 2003 

Alan Roxbugh and Fred Romanuk, The Missional Leader, Jossey-Bass, 2006

And if these, and other works, move your heart in a new direction and you are ready to apply the missional paradigm, I highly recommend CRM's The Missional Pathway!

I'd love to meet you and begin the journey together! - Just fill out the Contact Form to the right of this message.