Monday, April 02, 2007

Missional - Community means Belonging

Sunday I got to teach my first week of 13 weeks of Sunday School class on Becoming more missional (thanks to those who helped me with the cir).

One of the things we mentioned briefly there was the idea of community.

I was following a motorcyclist tonite, everytime he passed another biker he waved. It was like he was friends with every other biker on the road. That couldn't possibly be, but there he was waving.

Why? Because bikers share a common bond and it doesnt matter who you are, if your a biker your in.

A friend of mine and I were talking sometime ago about the fact that fans are the same way. Show up at a staium full of tailgaters, throw on the proper team jersey and instantly everyone wants to share their drinks and food with you. Put wrong jersey on and you will get run out of the parking lot. But the right jersey means your in!

See to fans if your one of them it doesnt matter. Come on in and join the party!

What we talked about in the class was the classic TV show "Cheers"

Remember the lyrics to the theme song?

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.

One aspect of being missional is that we must be able to develop a sense of belonging in people around us. The sense that a life lived in loneliness is a life unfulfilled. God created us for community! We must build that sense of community in everything we do.

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Missional Jerry said...

I tried to leave this comment on your blog. Though it wanted me to type in the visual code, the visual code box wasn't appearing ... I have had this happen on a couple of blogspot blogs.

Here's my comment ...

I attend a "community" church. Or should I say attended. For various reasons I haven't been there very often lately. This past Sunday I had the weirdest experience there. My entire family was there on Sunday night and though no one approached me, I did go speak to several people. About half a dozen times various people said, "I haven't seen you lately." to which I responded, "I haven't been here."
Now, here's the weird thing. Not one person asked me why I hadn't been there. No one cared.
So much for community. At least the people at the coffee shop ask where I have been, even going out of there way to make sure I haven't been sick.


craigkendall said...

Hey Jerry!

This is GREAT insight. We too experienced this, but from the perspective of the biker. After riding as a boy I once again got on a bike in 2006 as gas prices seemed to be limitlessly going up.

I left the dealership and within the first mile of my ride home passed another bike who greeted me with a wave. Shazaam! I felt part of the community. Since then, my wife has begun to ride and it never fails as we ride down the road each biker casually offers a biker wave and we return the sign.

Our thoughts were just like yours. This was the immediate acceptance and brotherhood with no prejudice (well except for scooters, but they aren't bikes anyways) we expect as Christ followers. Sport bikes, cruisers, dual purpose -- Harley, Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Ducati -- everyone waved to passing "brothers" and "sisters" regardless of age, sex, race.

We were also amazed when we stopped at restaurants or to stretch our legs how quick bikers are to strike up conversations about their love of bikes and riding. To us it is one of the most vivid examples of immediate inclusion in a group like family.

Webb Kline said...

I had an experience like that last Sunday night. I'm a huge Cleveland Indians fan. I got out of my truck at the plant I haul out of and a trucker from Ohio got out of his to ask me where he should park his truck for the night. When he saw my Chief Wahoo emblem on my hat, he said, "Are you a real Indians fan?" We talked baseball for over an hour--never met the guy before.

Missional seems the same way. Jerry, I feel like I've know you for a long time and we've still only met once.

But, I can also relate to what Cynthia said about church. I stopped going for similar reasons. Why I allow a church to consume my energies and time when people don't seem to care less whether I'm even alive?

The bottom line is that, to me, missional represents a lifestyle. It represents caring for the downtrodden, loving people regardless of what their dysfunction of choice may be, working toward leveling to mountains and filling the valleys of social injustice and pop-culture induced stratification, and in the end, separating Jesus from the phonies who claim His to come in His name.

When I start talking missional shop, people get excited even if they've never been to church. I believe it is the longing deep down in the heart of everyone whom God has chosen. It is the great unifier of the Saints.