FBC has long worked at being “missional” in Hastings. Now we are intensifying the effort. As you have heard, several of our people are studying how God is a very missional God, and how we are called to be with God in that. The state ABC office is helping guide this study.
Missional Church: A church accepting God’s call to mission in this world.
Consumer Church: A church focused on keeping its members and attenders comfortable and happy, and maybe even proud.
Here are key elements involved in being “missional.”
- OUTGO: Turning our chairs around, going out into the stream flowing by. When we look only at each other, we miss most of what God is doing – or wanting to do – in Hastings. We have to go out there and look around. There is a human stream running by the church and it has in it – among other things — much damage and sorrow and loss, much confusion and despair, much abuse and anger, much longing. We are called to wade out into that stream pretty regularly.
- HUMBLE REALISM about our community:
We have to listen carefully, honestly, and broadly to the voices in that stream, and to those trying to help those voices.
We want to find areas of service that are really needed and where we can really help. This will require visiting with people outside the church. We don’t want to do an imitation of what others are already doing better; we need to know whether we can help, and where there are needs not being addressed where we might be able to make a difference. We have to humbly look and listen.
- EAGERLY seeking God’s guidance. Jesus urged his disciples to “look”! He could see work all around needing to be done. They were overlooking some of the most obvious cases. He will surely help us look, and help us decide where and how we might engage most helpfully. After all, He promised, “Look; I am always with you.”
- CHRIST-CENTERED: a fellowship focused on Christ, devoted to living by His wisdom and with His presence. Then we become His presence in our world, and THAT is a very big deal!
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?
We each grow, becoming more Christlike, because we are seeing and acting more like He does, and we are understanding Him better here and now.
We become more engaged with the experienced needs of our community.
People see a church living what it says it believes.
People renew or begin a relationship with God through Christ.
Probably, even, the church grows – quite probably!