We now have a purchase and sale agreement in place for the old Presbyterian Church building in Stanwood (hopefully soon to be the new one!). If everything falls into place we will close on the property on May 15, 2015. There is more of the story to be told, but for now I wanted to post a short video tour.
I just heard this interview for the first time, even though it has apparently been around for a long time. When I think of “missional church” I don’t immediately think about what Keller is describing here. Nevertheless, being conversant and engaged with the culture where you live is certainly a very important part of being missional. I think that what Keller is describing is primarily focused on those of us that spend most of our time in professional ministry. The problem for those that don’t work in the church is that so often they ARE “just like everyone else” when they are away from the church building and the church community gatherings. They are also just like “church people” when they are around them. The key is to reorienting oneself so that all of life is under the authority of Jesus, and then living all of life on the mission that Jesus has given us. To me, this becomes the key difference between being a “seeker sensitive” church and being a missional church. It is one thing to be sure that we talk in a way that those who have never heard the good news can understand what we are talking about in our groups and in our worship, but it is another thing to begin live out the gospel in a way that permeates and informs all of our life and conversations.
“So discipleship starts way before conversion. We’re proclaiming Jesus to make disciples and we’re living amongst them as people submitting to Christ’s rule and reign so they see what a disciple looks like.”
For whatever reason, I find the above statement to be very thought-provoking and profound. Without going into what I think about “conversion” and “election” and all of that, I have to admit that, in practice, I have not thought that I am making disciples even before someone is at a point of being willing to believe and be baptized. And if this is true, then how would it effect church ministry “programs?” Don’t we focus most (or all) of our disciple -making efforts on those that have already professed faith in Christ? And I appreciate the emphasis on the flip-side as well. Once someone does believe, we still have to preach the gospel at every opportunity.
Parable of the Fishless Fishermen