Monday, January 11, 2010
Introducing the Missional Church - 3: It's not about programs, it's about listening.
The first impulse of many church practitioners when they are exposed to the idea of missional church is to sculpt strategies, plans and programs about how to take a church from being non-missional to missional. Roxburgh and Boren argue for a different way. The first step into being missional is to listen. I know, that sounds touchy-feely and gushy, but hang with me. By listen they mean, engage the world you/your church is actually connected to - your neighborhood/city/workplace, etc. and listen to the needs, aspirations and yearnings that intersect with Kingdom of God. The next step is to discern what it looks like to come alongside those things and engage the Kingdom of God. What can emerge is something as simple as learning there is a shut-in couple down the street that needs someone to check in on them and befriend them once a week to something as involved as learning about disengaged kids who keep getting themselves in trouble by hanging out at the local Burger King and letting that reality lead to the birth of a community center. Listen, discern and act on what the Lord is doing -- that's how the church steps into being missional.