6.11.2007

something good i said once (allegedly)

Eric, my friend/boss/pastor, emailed his staff a while ago asking us about ways that we are leading our church to become "missional." he sent a list of 8 questions to help on our quest. when i replied, my friend colin said my reply was really good and i should post it on my blog, so i decided to wait until i forgot about it and lost it in my inbox then come back and post it.

working definition for "missional:" being intentional about living a life that points people toward jesus christ.

1. Have you always had a missional mindset or have you gone through a change in thought sense you started ministry? Can you describe that?

We have always had a missional mindset. What that looks like continues to change.

2. Have there been challenges in helping your church focus on the main thing? How are you navigating these?

Sort of. I think we made strong statements about being outward focused in the beginning that are still carrying us pretty well. The challenge now is keeping the leadership focused on the main thing; finding ways to make the daily grind a missional quest.

3. How have you helped your congregation connect with people outside the church and remain externally focused?

Placing a high priority on community involvement with a missional mindset. Downplaying church involvement.

4. What are some practical things you do that are working well?

Sunday gatherings?

5. How do you build relationships with people in your community?

By being involved in existing community stuff and by offering our church resources (building, man-power, etc) to the community

6. Is there a story of life change that you’d like to share?

Cyndy (someone who's a part of cedar hills) has a friend who, about a year ago, started asking questions about the Christian faith. She and Cyndy began meeting regularly to discuss issues of faith and questions that she had. She was curious and just wanted to dialogue. Cyndy would share occasional stories at our weekly staff meetings about conversations they were having, all the while praying that God was drawing her friend closer to Him.

Last Sunday night, Cyndy’s friend was a part of her first church gathering in many years. She sat way in the back by the door with Cyndy and another friend of hers. I watched her throughout the gathering, not knowing who she was, but excited because I didn’t recognize her as a regular part of our church. As we were hanging out afterwards, Cyndy came and invited me to meet her.

The next day in the office Cyndy shared that her friend had a great experience in the gathering. She told Cyndy that she really liked it and thought that though she wasn’t ready yet, she might be able to work her way up to going on Sunday morning. Cyndy explained to her friend that there was nothing to work up to; that Sunday night “counts.” her friend said she was excited to make this a regular part of her life.

7. Who are the people you network with to help keep you missional? Internet? Books? Conferences?

Local people outside a relationship with Christ; maintaining a life outside the church so that i don't get isolated into a christian bubble

8. Is there anything that you are learning that could help the rest of us?

Being missional CAN NOT be a program that’s implemented or a strategy that’s taught. Being missional must stem from an understanding that Jesus loves people who don’t know him as much as he loves people who do. It MUST grow out of interpersonal relationship with people who don’t know Christ and be an expression of love for them. The style and pace vary from person to person and time to time but if being missional is about who I am and not how I act, that’s the ticket.

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