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Missional Tag

dirty water 4 Dig a Well, Go to Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, East Africa

Over one billion people lack access to safe drinking water worldwide. Polluted water isn’t just dirty—it’s deadly. Some 1.8 million people die every year of diarrheal diseases like cholera. Tens of millions of others are seriously sickened by a host of water-related ailments—many of which are easily preventable.

More than 1.5m children under five die each year because they lack access to safe water and proper sanitation. Every day water-related diseases claim the lives of 5000 children under the age of five. That’s roughly one every 15 seconds. Households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, and it is generally women who are burdened with the task.

If one million Christ followers where to go for 7 day each over the next year they would dig enough wells to end the water crises.

 

Part 7 in the series

Preach the Gospel, To All the World.

Jesus told His followers in Mark 16:15 “And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.” despite Satan’s influence on people in the church who introduced the doctrine in the 90’s of Not sharing the gospel with others. That people by simply by being around you through osmoses will become followers of Christ. Even thou all references to witness or witnessing in the book of Acts are public, verbal proclamation of the gospel outright. Jesus never taught or instructed His disciples to anything other than out right proclaim the gospel. There is never the concept in Scripture that witness can be private or simply lived out, but rather something to be proclaimed, shouted from the house tops.

Romans 10:14 tells us “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching?” It is the job of every follower of Christ, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus to all of the world. With words, with the actual gospel of Jesus. Do not listen to others, people who tell you not to share Christ, not to proclaim the gospel, just live a “good” life and others will get saved with out a word spoken. (Note, in order for your life to be an actual witness as they say, to reveal Jesus and the gospel, you must be living a life of obedience to Christ, and imitating His life. Which means you must be verbal sharing, proclaiming the Gospel, just as Jesus did and said to do. It’s a catch 22.)

In Luke 15:10 Jesus says ““…I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” how can anyone who is a follower of Christ not want to be part of that. Be part of an act that brings so much joy to all of heaven. This is what the Gospel is all about, why Jesus came and walked among us, what He sent His followers to do, Preach the gospel, so Go and proclaim the gospel to the world!

Chose this day to live, be like Philip in Act 8: 26-40. We read in Act 8:35 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” Chose this day to live like him, to Go out into the world with that intent, to share on purpose. Only you can chose to live like that, be like him.

Part 5

Visit The Underground Church in China

Why? To see and experience the biblical church model shown us in the book of Act’s. See the real deal, church like you have never have seen, encounter Christianity as close to the time of Christ you will find on earth.

It will change how you understand and define what church is and what happens when the body meets, taste the church you read about in Act’s and see that it can be done today, need to be done today.

And I do not mean the public government sanctioned church meetings, I mean the underground church, your life is at stake if you get caught church. The one people go to prison for being part of, the one you could be killed for pastoring or hosting one. Every Christian should go and spend 3 to 4 weeks in one , really getting a taste for the life, the church. The one that is changing the face of a nation, creating more true followers of Christ than any other place on earth.

This will give you a new compass for your life, for how to have church, everyone I know who has been, came back a different person, could not return to church the way it is done in America.

To me Sunday is not above any other day, how can that be you might say, what about church and it being the Lords Day, this is how Paul explains it;

One indeed esteems a day above another day; and another esteems every day alike. Let each one be fully assured in his own mind. Rom 15:4

 

This is how it brakes down for me.

  1. For one I hear great bible teaching everyday of the week, because I download podcast of my favorite pastors from all over the world to listen to at the gym, so I get feed by good teaching everyday not just on Sunday. I do not limit it to a Sunday event.
  2. I study the word of God daily, intently and have great in depth discussions with others on what I have studied. So I do not depend on someone else to study the word and give me the cliff notes of it.
  3. I worship the Lord daily, with passionate worship, at home every day and I also go to IHOP (International House of Prayer) a 24/7 place of worship filled with passionate worshipers of God, and enter into not only passionate worship myself, but do so with like minded followers of Christ in the presents of God daily. I can worship God as long as my heart desires, an hour, two, even eight hours if I want (and sometimes do), and anyway my heart desires to, dancing, shouting, kneeling, laying prostate, raising my arms, clap my hands, leap with joy, sing my own songs from my heart, how ever I want.
  4. I pray through out the day, daily, as well as at IHOP where I also engage in passionate prayer in the Spirit both alone and corporately. Enter into prayer for the nations, churches, lost, others, every need under the sun with others for as long as my spirit wants to pray, an hour, two, even eight. And I can do it daily 24/7.
  5. I gather with true followers of Christ daily, people who are living passionately for God, living on His mission, in the battle, living the Kingdom life and busy proclaiming it to others, followers who are on the front line of the battle. People who passionately love and worship God with great passion. I engage in true fellowship with others over a meal, cup of coffee, where ever daily with other believers.

To me church, Christianity, the worship of God, bible study and fellowship with the body of Christ is not a one day a week thing. It’s to be a way of life, the way followers of Christ are to live daily.

So that is why Sunday does not standout, offers nothing I do not do already have access to, already doing daily. In fact most Sunday services are detrimental to my worshiping of God, block my fellowship with God and the body, but that is another whole blog.

We must think of everyday activities of our life through the lenses of Gospel, Community, and Mission. Seek to live in such a way to apply these three elements to every aspect of our lives.

The gospel must be and is most effectively proven by it being lived out in everyday life, its effects on us lived out. Community life cannot be simply restricted to a Sunday morning service and/or a mid-week gathering. It must extend radically beyond these events to accomplish all the “one another passages” and what we see in passages like Acts 2:42-48, just as it is true that evangelism (mission) cannot be accomplished through programs nor by only a hand full of “professional evangelist”. Our missionary methods must expand into the ordinary everyday activities of our lives if we are to follow the scriptural models we read of, and Jesus’ life example. We must purposely form our everyday lives around the gospel and Christ. We’ve must move away from the program-based way of “doing” the Christian life, and doing church, move to a more ordinary, real and organic everyday way of life.

Begin by looking at all your daily ordinary activities through a tri-fold lens of community, mission, and gospel, things like going out to dinner, grocery shopping, going to the mall, taking the kids to the park. You want to seek out how you can take these activities and infuse each of these three elements.

Lets take going out to dinner, to add the community element you invite a Christian friend, someone from your church gathering. The gospel element can be added in a natural but intentional way as you converse throughout dinner, by partaking in the breaking of bread and the cup of the new covenant. Community is achieved by the very nature of coming together and have a meal together, you intentional engage in the one another’s of Christian fellowship. The mission element is accomplished by your intent of being there with a mission purpose, to reach, take the gospel to the world around you. By engaging your servers and possible those around you with the gospel.

Lets change up the situation a little: To add the mission element to your dinning out would be to invite a non-Christian friend, neighbor or co-worker to join you and your Christian friends. The community element is added in by both having community with the Christian as well as the non-Christian friends, but also the non-Christian getting to experience first hand real Christian community happening before them between you and your Christian friends. Allowing them to see a glimpse of the Kingdom life lived out by you. The gospel element can be added in again in a natural way as you converse throughout dinner. By you and the believers partaking in the breaking of bread and taking the cup, and explaining what is happening and why, and how this effects you life and who you are. And by them hearing how God and the gospel effects and directs your daily lives. And of course the mission element is also accomplished by the fact you are proclaiming the gospel through natural conversation and community with the intent to expand the kingdom by making disciples. And you still add in the active mission element of reaching out the your servers and others around you.

See how easily this way of living where we think of everyday activities through the lenses of Gospel, Community, and Mission, can be applied to basically every activity of everyday life, everything we do. Perhaps the element of community cannot be always applied to every situation but the gospel and mission can be applied to every thing we do in life.

After having a conversation with someone I have constructed a chart that I believe highlights some key contrasts between the attractional and missional Church ways. This is not all-inclusive and neither list applies complete to each of its respect church way.

Attractional / Consumer Church

Biblical / Missional Church

Church is a building/place/time

Church is the people any where and time

Program driven

Lifestyle driven

Mission is a program

Mission is a way of life, the purpose

Story telling

Gospel – Word proclaiming and teaching

Church is something Put on by paid professionals

Church is the sum of each person exercising their gifts, being the church

Institutional

Living organism

Worship is attractional, entertainment, performance based

Worship is the personal – group expression of love to God, spirit based, point to bring God’s present there and love on Him

Preaching is striped of every truth about God, Jesus, sin, salvation that the world does not like to hear.

Preaching is un-apologetic, teaching the word of God from its truths, leaving out and changing nothing

A weekend or Wednesday event in a church building

Can Happen every day, any time two of more gather together any where

The offerings are all about bigger buildings, sound and light systems and more paid staff

Offerings are about taking care of the needs of the body, taking care of the orphans, widows, poor, needy and sending out others to far away lands

Evangelism is all bout programs and events designed to attract others to come and become tither’s, it is a program, a set of how to do it instructions and pamphlets

Evangelism is all bout Going in to the world and preaching the gospel, meeting the people where they live, work and play, it is a way of life, a lifestyle, it is natural and organic

Evangelism is about crating converts

Evangelism is about making followers of Jesus Christ, and making them disciples

The building is the most important asset of the church, and the right one is necessary to attract others to come

The people are the church and the building is unnecessary for church to happen

Growth comes about by having the right marketing program, music, building and programs

Growth comes by preaching the Gospel and making disciples and then God adds to it daily

Run like a for profit business, plans made by men based on business models, marketing surveys determine direction

Run by Jesus via the Holy Spirit and prayer, the bible is the model

Attraction for growth in numbers attending

Sending out for multiplication for the expansion of the Kingdom of God

Pull back from and fear culture

Engage and transform culture with the gospel

Discipleship is a program, 7, 9 or 10 steps and in a few weeks your done

Discipleship is a lifestyle and commitment to pour your life into another and dong day-to-day life with them teaching them how to live out the Christ life over years.

The church structure and authority is set by the traditions and whims of men, the pastor and/or board is the head of the church

The church structure and authority is set by God and the scriptures, Jesus is the head of the Church

The model is complex, takes millions of dollars and relies on large seminary educated staffs, big buildings and therefore can not be easily duplicated

The model is the biblical model, simple and organic can be simply reproduced by any believer and anywhere, like in a house with no money at all

Most Growth comes from church transplants, people leaving other churches to join, on average only 0 to 5 new salvation’s a year, the point to become a big church

Most growth comes from salvations, the point is to Go into the world and reach the unsaved,  to Go and make disciples of all the nations

Growth is seen as a increase in numbers to become a meg-church, to create a larger base of consumer Christians participating in programs and to increase income to the church, no one is to leave

Growth is seen as each person becomes spiritually mature in Christ, being made into the image of Christ and made ready to be sent out, and sending them out

A lot of people debate the term “Missional” and “Missional Church”, being Missional.. And that I do not understand, missional simply means on mission, or on a mission which ever you prefer. Missional is not a program, a movement or even a mythology. It is both a command and a way of life, way of living, and for someone to say the church is not to be missional, is in essence calling Jesus a liar.

We read in Mat 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” Here Jesus is sending His people, the church into the world with a mission to fulfill. We are to make disciples, baptize them and then teach them the word. There it is our mission, the life we are to live, the calling, purpose of our life in Christ. It was at that point the church was commanded to be Missional. Jesus gave His church mission, these marching orders just before His ascended to the Father.

Then just a short time later Jesus returns and tells His disciples Acts 1: 8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” In today’s time this would read, be my witnesses in your city, your state and your country, and to the end of the earth.

So why do so many not understand this command of Jesus, the mission given to the Church? He could not have made it any clearer. Not only did the early church understand the mission, they focused on living out that mission their entire lives. That is the first characteristic we see in the first churches, they where missional, they where on mission, and no matter what anyone says, that was not something for them back then, but Not for us today, that is a deception of Satan.

Christians should not have to debate why be missional, it should be enough that Jesus said GO into your neighborhood, city, state and the entire world. What more do we need to know other than our Lord said GO, said make disciples, said baptize, said teach the word, that should be all we need to know, GO! And Do!

There it is our personal mission, the church is to be on mission, live on mission, the church is on mission, mission is not a department, a program, it is a way of life, a way of being. The answer to why be missional? Jesus said to!

Every Church should have the mindset that they are on a mission today, on Missio Dei, God’s mission. That they are to Go! That they are sent into the world!

The second church that has it right that, that is following the lead of Pastor Francis Chan is a church gathering called Element in Nashville, TN. Their pastor Jared Wilson after hearing the story of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, see yesterdays blog. Pastor Wilson saidit grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and dreaming it. I was thinking about the ministry buzzword “missional,” and I began to think that, while Element has already been operating and teaching as such that “missional” is not just empty sloganeering for us, it could and should mean more.

So he went to his board and got them to voted to do the same, so Element will designate minimum 50% of its budget to missions, and 10% to church planting or to other gospel-driven ministries. This means that for every dollar we receive, 60 cents will go back out the door. Our operating budget will be 40% of our offerings.

Pastor Jared Wilson stated that We will give to both foreign and local missions, but more will go to local missions, because our idea is not just to write a check (or checks) and wipe our hands of it, but to be giving regularly to local mission agencies that we can actually visit, partner with, and do on-site service projects with.

Here’s what gets me: Jesus said to his followers that whatever they do to the “least of these,” they are doing to him. This means it’s not some nameless, faceless people out there who are shivering and starving and dying. It means it’s Jesus who is shivering and starving and dying. And while it shouldn’t matter if someone is nameless or faceless, while not seeing someone shouldn’t dissuade us from action, we are seeing this as a great way to bless Jesus, to worship Jesus.

Amen, see how one revolutionary can start a fire, as everyone knows California is being ravaged buy wild fires right now. And it is there that God has started a wild fire in one man, one church that has now leaped, like wild fires are know to do, clear across to Nashville. May this spread like the California wild fires through the church all across America, and go up to90% going to God, by giving it to the hurting, poor, starving, dying and missions and only 10% or less to building and salaries, Jesus said when you give to one of them you are giving to Him. Amen!

The United Nations estimates that the cost to end world hunger completely, along with diseases related to hunger and poverty, is about $195 billion a year. And that if the Church in America gave just 50% of its income to fight poverty it would bring an end to poverty, no one would go hungry.

The number one criticism of God is why does He allow poverty, starving children, that a lot of people refuse to accept God on that issue alone, they blame God for it, for not doing something. When the truth is God did do something, He commissioned, commanded His people, His church to do something about it, gave His people, the church the resources to do something, but they have chosen not to, to disobey Him. To spend the money on fancy building, programs and salaried staff.

How much the church would be a living, tangible expression of the love, compassion and mercy of God if they did what He said to do, and that is exactly what it is to be? No one could accuse God of being unloving or uncaring. The church would be the light to the world it is called to be, be the interment of Restoration, Renewal, Reconciliation and Redemption to our world that it is to be, reflect who God is to the world.

May a thousand churches follow Cornerstone and Element this year and more the next tell every church does as they are.