Jesus didn't tell the world to go to church...
...but he does tell the church to go to all the world!
Churches that want to move to the edge must be willing to embrace the way Jesus modeled disciple making by embracing the command of Jesus in John 20:21,
“…As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
In other words Jesus expects us to follow his example. So how did the Father send Jesus and what does he expect of us?
I believe the first thing we need to understand is that Jesus came incarnationally – God with us! Yes Jesus went to the local synagogues and the temple to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom but we find him mostly out in the day-to-day world of the people that he was trying to reach. We see Jesus walking through the villages and surrounding fields; we see him engaging people by the shore and in the market place and yes we find him being entertained at the home of Zacchaeus along with some of Zacchaeus’ sinner family and friends.
If a church is going to move to the edge it must be willing to move ministry and the proclamation of the Gospel from inside to outside its walls and among the world that God has called them to impact. There must be a willingness to even go to the places and hang with the people that the religious might look down their noses at.
If a church is going to move to the edge it must also be willing to give-up the “come and hear” mentality that plagues the majority of churches across North America and move right past the “go and tell” idea to the principle that Jesus modeled for us in his ministry on this earth of “go and send.” In Matthew 28:19 Jesus gives his final commission to his disciples by telling them that they were to go and make disciples. As you look at the Greek word interpreted “go” we find the expanded meaning to be one of traveling on a journey or “as you go.” Yes Jesus took opportunities for teaching and instruction but it was always in the midst of everyday life and going. It was as he went that he was constantly sending his disciples.
If a church is going to move to the edge the leadership must embrace that the “works of ministry” that the Apostle Paul speaks of in Ephesians must be more than handing out bulletins, serving coffee, working in the nursery and parking cars on Sunday. It must become about equipping every believer to be a go and send disciple maker in the world they live.
Questions to consider:
- How does your church engage incarnationally in the world?
- What shifts might your church need to make to become more incarnational?
- How does your church make disciples?
- What might need to shift for your church to become a go and send church?
For the past thirty-nine years Wayne has served the Church in local churches ranging in size from 50 to 4,500, in two denominational roles as well with an international missions organization. Through these varied experiences God has developed in him a deep passion for His Church and the leaders that lead her.
Wayne’s calling is see the re-missionalization of the Church in North America! MORE>>