This is the third primary commitment of a missional-incarnational church’s infiltration of society. If the church is living an intriguing new lifestyle that is so marked by goodness that it makes the gospel attractive, then to truly be effective it follows that this lifestyle must be lived in close proximity to not-yet-Christians. Paul took this seriously in his mediation of the Corinthian factions that had split over the issue of eating food offered to idols (1 Cor. 10:27–11:1).
Christian leaders wonder how they might engage in reconciling conversations around injustice, social, and public concerns. They desire a humble, humanizing, and respectful approach that opens the door to reconciliation. Many are looking for a way that transcends human nature and allows the Holy Spirit to work.
If the Christian church is to be incarnational and missional, as we believe the New Testament anticipates, and if it’s to abandon an us-and-them mentality, it will need to rediscover the biblical mode of impacting the world around it. The traditional-attractional church thinks about evangelism as sending out church members to share their faith with others and to bring them into the church. But the New Testament writers saw it much more organically.
Our primary job is to try to see where and how God has been working and to partner with him in bringing people to redemption in Jesus. Understanding that all humans are made in the image and likeness of God and in the deepest possible way made for God, we can assume that every human is motivated by spirituality and search for meaning. Let’s let Las Vegas be a case study…
It is important when we take responsibility for our geography to notice individual people--that whoever they are, they have been made in the image of God. We are to love as God loves. Here is an example of how a church and community began to love those in their contexts who have special needs through a program called "Night to Shine."
Buildings, budgets and bigshots are the movement killers to the reproduction of churches, leaders and disciples. Recently I was in a pastor’s meeting and many were wondering how their churches would continue. Some were selling their facilities just for survival. Survival is one thing, but reaching a city is quite another.
Watch the highlights from the Spring 2018 Greenhouse Environments training intensive.
Back in February 2018, several church leaders met together for a Greenhouse Environments training intensive. Greenhouse Environments is part of the Alliance Southeast's MIP (Multiplication Impact Process) that is the umbrella initiative that includes Gospel Footprint and Flywheel.
Last spring, I decided I needed to get back into regular exercise. So I invited my national colleague, Célestin, to jog with me several days a week.
We began our morning routine—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday runs—on a route that passes by a forestry camp. We noticed on our runs that a team of camp workers gathered each morning to prep for their daily tasks that include reforesting the barren, treeless areas in our community.
During one run, I got the idea to stop and share the good news with these workers. Célestin agreed.
Like exiled Israel, the church today yearns for a word from God. As Christians, we believe that Christ came into the world to bring a new order; to bring redemption, healing and restoration; and to birth a new society of redeemed persons. And as that new society, we hold fast to the truth that God is directing history toward its true end. But like Israel, we need to hear afresh that God is at work. We need to be reminded that, though forces of chaos and evil seem evident, God groans like a woman in labor, giving birth to the new world promised throughout the generations and confirmed for us in Christ…
Do Christians believe Jesus has an answer for racism and racial inequality? Do we think the Bible provides responses to a world of violence, both domestic and international? Does it involve more than just inviting people to a church service? Of course it does!
“I can’t do what you do,” says the Christian, sidling up to me sheepishly after an evangelism training session. “I’m no good with words.”
This always strikes me as an odd admission. Usually it comes after five minutes of genial conversation. We’ve discussed the sports scores, the weather, the kids, and Netflix. There have been no awkward pauses, no embarrassing slips of the tongue, nothing to suggest that this person struggles significantly with English comprehension or communication. But apparently they are no good with words.
This struggle rarely manifests when discussing their favorite team or show. But it does present itself when the topic for discussion is faith. It turns out they’re actually quite good with words. Most people are fairly decent at the whole speaking thing. Civilization is built upon it. So, what is the problem?