Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Missional - Church in Action

Stumbled on an article today and this quote just jumped out at me:

“Our dream,” says Russell, “is to be as much a part of the community as the corner dairy. A corner Dairy is an integral part of any community. It is a place that would be missed if it were to shut down and it meets a need in the area. Also, there is nothing mystical about a dairy, it is a normal and accepted part of life. This is what church should be, a normal and accepted part of life that meets people where they are at and at their individual level.”

You can read the rest of the post:

The Church on the Corner

it's my prayer that this is the goal of every church, especially ones who consider themselves to be or are trying to be missional.

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SLW said...

That sounds nice but I'm afraid it's a cultural perspective rather than a biblical one. The church needs to be engaged in the community to win from it such as are being saved, but the notion that the church will fit in is a cultural perspective only someone who has been steeped in western ("Christian")culture would ever arrive at. Only a westerner would ever assume the town was supposed to be Christian. The Bible says the world will hate us.

madetopraisehim said...

There is cultural contextualisation in the exact manner they have done things. There has to be! That's why we shouldn't copy specific methods.

But regarding the principle of being a valued part of the community. Surely this is exactly what happened to the early church. In being a living demonstration of the gospel to those around them, in being a touch-it-and-feel-it expression of Good News, they "had the favour of all the people [in Jerusalem]" (Acts 2:47) We are Good News aren't we? We are trying to "win" people to Christ aren't we?

SLW said...

You always have such a nice way of putting things, always helps me see things clearer. I understand the hope or the vision, it's the expectation that gives me pause. Those same folk that loved Christ one day turned on him the next, and those same folks in Jerusalem that looked on the church with such favor were not able to stop it from be scattered by persecution. Certainly don't want to rain on anyone's parade, I just don't think its realistic (argh!) or promised from the Word. But if they think it's the thing to do, by all means, go for it.

madetopraisehim said...

We have the Street Pastors initiators with us right now, discussing how we set this up in our city with a group of churches working together. Their stories of Street Pastors in other cities across the UK are that they do indeed seem to have the favour of "all" the people, from street level through to local police, government agencies, and politicians.

On the street, people come to them and ask for help - in 75% of conversations people ask them to pray with them. Non-believers come and thank them for what they're doing. And of course, God is saving people through it all.

At government level they're asked to speak and teach on transforming society. In some areas arrest rates for violent crime have plummeted by over 50% as a direct result of the church on the streets and God transforming people's lives. One Street Pastor, an ex-convicted violent gang leader, now born-again, even had the UK prime minister's ear for 45 minutes, and the head of Street Pastors is talking to government ministers at a prayer breakfast in a few months time.

The gospel worked-out and expressed, not merely preached, IS Good News! We know that not everybody will warm to it, but we believe we are transformers of society - for good, not as a thorn.

Must dash. Off to breakfast meeting with these guys!