I really was blessed by the interactions and instruction in early October at the Missio Intensive in Pasadena, California. It was great to reconnect with old friends and also to connect with new friends. I was especially surprised to see Phil Graf who came over from Amsterdam. And it was great to hear Hugh, Michael and Alan.
I want to post some of what I heard that challenged my thinking about church, community, culture, mission, and living incarnationally. Comment on anything that challenges you.
“The wrong question gets wrong answers. It’s not about the form of church, it’s about being missionaries in the U.S.”
In his opening prayer, “Lord, protect us from deconstructing too much.”
“Young leaders today are passionate about the lost and jaded about the church.”
“Does just giving sermons every week guarantee people will grow?”
“We know we are living in a post-Christendom era but we continue operating in institutional ways.”
“Consumer Christians will suck the life out of you.”
“Would anyone in your community be upset or miss your church if it closed down?”
“There is a heresy in this country: You divide Lordship and Salvation. This has massive missional consequences.”
“In the simplest form, it’s all about Jesus. You can spend your entire life attempting to live this out. Even peasants can carry this message.”
“The better the experience with God in Sunday, the more God is not seen to be experienced outside of the church.”
“Jesus is a bloody good missionary.”
“The existing church is terrified by the idea that all believers are priests and don’t need clergy to follow Jesus.”
“Why do people think they need to go to church to meet Jesus?”
“Some of us have been with Jesus so long that we’ve got no idea of what it’s like to not know our identity and purpose in Jesus.”
“Lost people don’t care what you do on Sunday .Just changing pews for plastic seating is not going to get people to come.”
“I don’t know how you can do mission with out listening to the Holy Spirit.”
“I want to build a church where a stay-at-home mother feels that she’s been sent by God to do the work to which she’s been called.”
“Once you’ve experienced non-institutional community, you are ruined.”
“In the middle of St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome), it is hard to see Jesus.”
“You could take a whole lot of churches out of a whole lot of cities and no one would know that they are gone.”
“Ask these questions:
- To whom shall I go?
- Where shall I meet them?
- What might I stop doing to create the space to allow me to go to that place?
- Who shall go with me?
- How shall we be sustained as a Christian collective?
- How will leadership operate?”