On Jesus, Mission, and Church – Pt. 2

July 17th, 2007

Another excerpts from Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons From An Emerging Missional Church, by Mark Driscoll:

“[A couple leaving the church] complained that since the church had grown a bit bigger and things a bit busier, my wife and I had become less available to them… We were stunned. We needed couples like this to help the church survive… I simply gave up and sent them on their way because they were not on our mission to bring the gospel to Seattle.”

This touches on the way that people choose churches–our expectations, our criteria, our view of the proper relationship between us and a church. Are we looking for something to meet our needs, or are we looking for ways to serve?

In one sense, it’s appropriate to be evaluating a church in terms of how well it meets our needs. That is, we need strong preaching, good fellowship, and extra support in times of hardship. We should look for healthy churches that will meet those needs.

But our focus should not be on ourselves. We should not be most concerned about how comfortable we are, or how many other people we like, or whether we always get as much attention as we want.

Instead, we should find a church that meets one of our biggest needs: To serve and to minister. A church where we will be challenged to learn & grow, to mature, to be transformed in our minds and our lives. We should be looking for a church on active mission to serve the broader community, both physically (i.e. social programs, helping those in need, etc.) and spiritually (i.e. transforming lives through the gospel). We should be looking for a place to plug in and get to work. And if there is some way that our present church is falling short, we shouldn’t necessarily abandon it–maybe we should try to fix it. Maybe we should seek to serve the church we’re in now by building up the church for everyone, rather than automatically trying to find something better.

For myself, what I have often done is gone to a church to sit in the pews on Sunday. I hate that, and I don’t want to do it again.

If that’s what church is for you–a place to sit on Sundays–then I urge you, I challenge you, I call you to something deeper and richer. Approach it as your chance to serve, rather than simply to be served. Delight in the privilege of being part of the work of God on earth. We were created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10).

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Phi. 2:1-5)

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