Holy Spirit day 18: sends,

My definition of a missionary is: is someone who is willing to sacrifice everything except the Gospel, for the sake of the Gospel. 

The definition of a Congregation is: The act of assembling. A body of assembled people or things; a gathering. 

Our goal is to become disciples of Christ, correct?  Disciples meaning apprentices of Jesus Christ who imitate the life of Jesus, correct?  Then which of the the two: a congregant, who’s goal is to congregate and gather in a building; or a missionary who’s goal is to be sent and go outside of walls with the Gospel, which life style imitates that of a Jesus?  A missionary. So if the goal of The Church, is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, why is it so consumed and focuses so much time and resources on making congregations instead of missionaries?  Why is it’s goal how many people it can gather together on a Sunday morning and require Sunday church attendance, instead of how many empty seats it has on Sunday mornings because church members are out sharing the Gospel in flea markets, laundromats, restaurants, hospitals and neighborhoods?

I am speaking to my ODC members now. We intentionally do not meet on Sunday mornings so that our members can go out into their community and prayer walk and share their testimony and the Gospel.  How many of you instead will get up today, get dressed, and congregate and attend another church service at another church?  Why is that?  Why is it that if people do not sit inside the walls of a church building on a Sunday morning, they feel like they have not been to “Church.”  I believe it is because Christian’s in the west have been conditioned and conformed through pleas, petitions, or pastors and parents, and the use of shame to believe this.  The “rolling of eyes” and snickers under their breath of, “well their going to hell” by traditional Christians directed towards Christians who do not attend on Sundays.  

Now hear me, I am not against corporate gatherings of prayer and worship.  I am against solitary Christianity and and have a social view of holiness.  However, like a pendulum swinging way past center one way, The Church in the west is unhealthly and un-Gospel focused and swung way out of balance towards congregating.   It is our norm, what we are comfortable at, and what we default to.

  Yes, we needto be marked by a growing love for God.  But we need to be also marked by a tangible love for others!  Observable engagement with the Holy Spirit. Our discipleship must encompass the whole Gospel. It must transcend personal salvation and embrace the mission of God.  Our story has to more than attending church gatherings and how Jesus enables me to go to heaven when I die, It must include our on going engagement with the Missio Dei, the mission of God. We must repeatedly remind ourselves that Christianity it is not about us! Not about surrounding ourselves with people like us, and who like us!   The announcement and demonstration of the Gospel happen out there, not in here, as we as disciples live missionaly incarnate lives in our community.

Read Matthew 28:18-20, John 17:14-19.  Then watch the short video I have attached by Francis Chan on being sent by the Holy Spirit.  I encourage you to Please post your thoughts, reflections, questions, and prayers below in the comments below.